Former minister Kanna Lakshminarayana was on Sunday appointed as BJP's state president of Andhra Pradesh. He was a minister in several Congress governments in the state, but left it to join the BJP in 2014.
Lakshminarayana comes from the Kapu community, a group the BJP is eyeing to make inroads in the state.
Lakshminarayana, known for his strong vocal skills, has made his mark in BJP and also got recognition on par with national leaders. It is believed that Kanna had earlier anticipated that he would be offered the post of state BJP chief after the resignation of Kambhampati Haribabu. However, Somu Veerraju, was considered till recently a favourite for the top post.
Reports had said that he was set to quit the saffron party recently, but was prevailed on to continue and the appointment is seen as an effort to placate him and a number of other leaders who had left other parties, especially the Congress, to join it.
A staunch Congressman who began his political innings with National Students Union of India, Lakshminarayana was first elected from Pedakurapadu Assembly segment in 1989. He had served in the Cabinets of former Chief Ministers N. Janardhana Reddy, K. Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, K. Rosaiah and Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The assembly polls in the state are scheduled to be held together with the Lok Sabha elections next year.