Hyderabad: The appointment on Sunday of P. Muralidhar Rao of the Rashtra Swayamsevak Sangh, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, as one of the general secretaries of the BJP has caused heartburn in the state unit of the party.
BJP leaders Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and N. Indrasena Reddy were both dropped and Dr K. Laxman was demoted to the executive from the post of secretary.
Just three years after formally joining the BJP, Muralidhar Rao, 48, has been elevated from national secretary (when Nitin Gadkari was president) to general secretary, over the heads of state BJP leaders with a track record of several decades. He is the second BJP leader from the state, after M. Venkaiah Naidu, to become party general secretary.
P. Muralidhar Rao’s appointment as one of the general secretaries of the BJP comes as party leader and former Union minister of state Ch. Vidyasagar Rao is laying the ground to contest again from Karimnagar. Mr Muralidhar Rao also hails from Karimnagar, and is also said to be eyeing the Lok Sabha seat. The two men belong to the same community.
Vidyasagar Rao was reluctant to comment on the development. “Let me wait and watch the future developments,” he said.
But a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity that Muralidhar Rao will concentrate on party activities in states that will be put in his charge, and there is no question of denying the Karimnagar ticket to Vidyasagar Rao.
Disappointment was in store for senior party leader N. Indrasena Reddy, whose name does not figure in the new national executive. Party national secretary Dr K. Laxman too will now be confined to the national executive as a member, along with P. Shanta Reddy from the Rayalaseema region.
While Kambhampati Haribabu was a member in the party’s newly-constituted disciplinary committee, Bandaru Dattatreya was a permanent invitee and Somu Veera Raju was one of the special invitees in the national executive, which has more than 200 members.
Son of a farmer at Korapalli village in Karimnagar, Mr Muralidhar Rao had his education up to undergraduate level in Warangal. He is a postgraduate from Osmania University with an MA in Philosophy in 1985 and an M.Phil. in 1986.
He joined RSS at a very young age. Later, deputed in many northern states, he was known for his remarkable skills in organising students.
He joined the BJP in January 2009. In 2010, he was made national secretary by Nitin Gadkari. His three-day hunger strike in Hyderabd in December 2011, to focus on the miserable plight of weavers was attended by the top brass of BJP.
Rise in BJP
Muralidhar Rao joined BJP in January 2009 as attaché to the then president Rajnath Singh. In 2010, he was made national secretary by Nitin Gadkari. Appointed one of the BJP general secretaries on March 1, 2013.
Muralidhar Rao joined the RSS at a very young age. He led ABVP in Warangal and Hyderabad. He was general secretary of Osmania University Students’ Union in 1984.
Naxals fired at him at point blank range in Nov. 1986 on OU Campus.
The ABVP deputed him to Rajasthan in 1987. His remarkable organising skills won him laurels of late Bhairon Singh Shekawat.
The ABVP moved him to J&K in 1991, when there were pressing demands due to insurgency. He rallied the youth against fundamentalist forces, despite threats to his life from jihadists.
He assisted RSS leaders Dattopant Thengadi, Madan Das and S. Gurumurthy in floating Swadeshi Jagarn Manch, a movement to protect Indian rural economy against the onslaught of globalisation.