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Eye on Kapu votes in Andhra, BJP party picks former minister as new president

The BJP said in a statement on Sunday that the party has appointed President Shah, Lakshminarayana, also a former Andhra Pradesh BJP chief minister. (Representational picture)

To win the favor of the influential Kapu community in Andhra Pradesh, the BJP on Sunday appointed the 62-year-old Kanna Lakshminarayana as president of the state unit. The move is seen as a BJP offer to draw the community support to counter its former ally, Telugu Desam Party, which is dominated by the kamma community.

Lakshminarayana's appointment comes amid reports that he was planning to join the YSR Congress Party led by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. He served as minister in the Congress governments, led by N Janardhana Reddy and Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy. From 2004 to 2009 he was minister in the late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ‘s cabinet. He was also a minister in the governments led by K Rosaiah and N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

A five-congressional MLA, Lakshminarayana won four times in a row from 1989 to 2004 by Pedakurapadu in Guntur District and won for the fifth time by Guntur (West) in 2009. He lost to the TDP in 2014 and joined the BJP in the presence of Amit Shah in Delhi in October 2014.

The BJP said in a statement on Sunday that the party has appointed President Shah Lakshminarayana, also a former Andhra Pradesh BJP minister, while BJP leader and State Legislative Council Somu Veeraraju will be the state converner of the election management committee. Veeraraju was earlier, as a forerunner for the state, party leader of the post, which was vacated by K Hari Babu on April 17.

“I am honored to have this position. I will make every effort to strengthen the BJP in the AP with the support of all members of the party. I want to effectively focus on the false propaganda of TDP against the BJP. I think my experience as a five-MLA and minister has worked in my favor. I thank Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving me this chance, ”Lakshminarayana said.

In the 2014 elections the Kapu community had supported the TDP, which managed to defeat the YSRCP by a narrow margin. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had assured reservations for the Kapus through their inclusion in the reverse classes list and state parliament also passed a resolution in this regard. But the proposal has not yet been clarified by the center. Keeping the community support, Naidu has Kapu Corporation with a corpus of Rs than 1,000 crore. It is the job of providing loans to Kapu business owners and job creation.

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