Saf­fron In­roads

India Today - - STATES - —by Amar­nath K. Menon

With the Congress and Chan­drababu Naidu’s Tel­ugu De­sam Party in re­treat, the BJP has seen a clear opportunit­y in Telangana, enun­ci­ated in Union home min­is­ter Amit Shah’s ‘Mis­sion 2023’ for­mu­la­tion. On July 6, Shah launched the party’s cam­paign in the state, a part of the larger goal of grow­ing its foot­print in the south. The BJP’s state unit has stepped up its at­tacks on the state govern­ment, es­pe­cially af­ter Telangana chief min­is­ter and Telangana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) pres­i­dent K. Chan­drashekar Rao (KCR) re­minded me­dia agen­cies in June that he was “the first to de­clare in 2014 that Naren­dra Modi is a fas­cist”. Modi-KCR re­la­tions have been strained for some time, with KCR not at­tend­ing ei­ther the prime min­is­ter’s swear­ing-in cer­e­mony or the BJP’s all-party meet­ing to dis­cuss si­mul­ta­ne­ous as­sem­bly and Lok Sabha elec­tions, and Modi re­fus­ing KCR a meet­ing to dis­cuss the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Kalesh­waram ir­ri­ga­tion project. In re­sponse to the BJP’s en­rol­ment drive, the TRS has launched an en­rol­ment drive of its own, tar­get­ing 50,000 new mem­bers from each as­sem­bly con­stituency in the state.

53

Months to go be­fore the next leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly elec­tion. Telangana last went to polls in De­cem­ber 2018

1.8 mil­lion

Target for new en­rol­ments in Telangana set by BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah. The fo­cus is on Dal­its, trib­als, women, young peo­ple, farmers and “those who have a good name in so­ci­ety”

8,000

The num­ber of BJP work­ers who will fan out across the state’s 33 dis­tricts to woo po­ten­tial new mem­bers to the party

20,000

The BJP’s min­i­mum en­rol­ment target in each as­sem­bly con­stituency

50,000

The TRS’s min­i­mum en­rol­ment target in each as­sem­bly con­stituency

10,000

The RSS’s target for en­rol­ment in its Mus­lim Rashtriya Manch by the end of 2019

13 %age points

The in­crease in the BJP’s vote share in Telangana in the Lok Sabha elec­tion (20%), com­pared to the 2018 as­sem­bly elec­tion (7%)

ANI

NEW BAT­TLES K. Chan­drashekar Rao, the TRS chief

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