On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed veteran leader and MLC Somu Veerraju as its Andhra Pradesh unit president by replacing incumbent president Kanna Lakshminarayana, the candidate served as a six-time legislator and minister for over 15 years in different Congress governments in undivided AP, had joined the BJP soon after the Congress party’s rout in the 2014 general elections. After struggling to walk along with the old guards for nearly two years, Kanna had gained access with the then national president Amit Shah and bagged the prized post of state president while several strong leaders and groups within the party opposed Kanna’s nomination to the top post and created hurdles during his journey
In fact, Veerraju was a front runner for the state president post two years ago when Kanna Lakshminarayana's entry entrant to the BJP literally snatched it away. Analysts believe that the Veerraju’s appointment could provide a little breather to the YS Jagan government in the state as the MLC was known as a bitter critic of Chandrababu Naidu. In fact, he had showered praises on several schemes of Jagan in the last one year.
However, Lakshminarayana had extensively toured the entire state and worked hard to strengthen the party. Although party had not won any seats in the 2019 elections, the party believed to have expressed satisfaction over the way he worked during the elections, but things started changing after JP Nadda taking over the reins of the national party as the internal groups have started working over-time to replace Kanna for the past several months. He had successfully completed two years of his term as president and expected another term. However, Nadda decided to go with the old guard Somu Veerraju, who believed to have had a good rapport with the RSS top brass.
Curiously, YSRC MP Vijayasai Reddy had launched a scathing attack on Kanna Lakshminarayana alleging that he was backing TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu and also made serious corruption charges against the former minister. BJP state vice-president and Nehru Yuva Kendra national vice-chairman, S Vishnuvardhan Reddy welcomed the appointment of Somu Veerraju as state president.