File photo: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
The ongoing agitation against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is likely to cast a shadow on the much-publicised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally to be addressed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad today.
Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are witnessing widespread agitation ever since the Congress announced decision to create Telangana state on July 30.
The BJP State Executive, which met at Tirupathi on July 1-2, had directed the Rayalaseema leaders and cadres to mobilise about 10,000 people from the region for Mr Modi's rally.
Later, in view of the agitation for unified Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema leaders, in a recent meeting held at Hyderabad in the presence of State BJP President and senior leaders, scaled down the target to 2,000.
But the BJP's unwavering support for the Telangana cause at the expense of the other two regions has disappointed party cadres in Rayalaseema, which consists of districts of Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor.
With popular sentiment against the saffron party's stand on Telangana, the BJP workers and leaders from these districts have decided to opt out of the Hyderabad meeting.
BJP sources said the leadership had almost abandoned them in Rayalaseema, without explaining their stand on the fate of this backward region in the event of bifurcation.
The sources say the leaders are unable to convince the cadre and party sympathisers in the region to attend the much-hyped meeting of Mr Modi, who is also BJP's campaign committee chief.
They added that the attendance from Rayalaseema may not be more than 400-500 people for the Modi meeting, which is a prestigious event for BJP.