Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking for a new face to lead the party in Telangana as it aims to become a strong alternative to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The current Telangana Chief K. Laxman’s term of two years as the Telangana party Chief will end in the next 3 months, after which the party will conduct polls to select their next Chief, said a BJP leader who did not wish to be quoted.
The party plans to hold organizational polls in December this year. A section of people within the party feel the need for a new leader or state President to challenge TRS head and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR), who is a popular leader in Telangana. K Laxman lost Musheerabad assembly seat in the December 2018 assembly elections, during which the BJP won just one constituency out of the total 119.
Another section of the party wants K Laxman to continue as he has a good grip on party affairs, and as he also led the BJP to winning four seats in the Lok Sabha polls including the prominent Nizamabad constituency which was previously held by K Kavitha, daughter of KCR. K Laxman has been with the BJP right from the start of his political career.
A few of the leaders from Congress and Telgu Desam Party (TDP) have also joined the BJP including the former Cabinet Minister DK Aruna who quit Congress to join BJP. Among the possible contenders for the party's Telangana Chief would be BJP MLC Naraparaju Ramchander Rao, D K Aruna, and Nizamabad MP D Arvind. “It is unlikely that an outsider like Aruna will be given charge, and Arvind is a first-time MP. So we will have to wait and see," said the BJP leader.
In a bid to replace Congress and become the only strong Opposition in the state, BJP has plans of doubling the party’s strength from 18 lakh to 36 lakh members. The state leaders had initially aimed for adding another 12 lakh members but Home Minister and party's National President Amit Shah ambitiously insisted on recruiting another 18 lakh people. BJP is looking for significant political growth in states such as West Bengal and Telangana, and is leaving no stones unturned to increase its foothold in the these states.