Grassroots Activist to Union Minister: Leadership of Bandi Sanjay

Telangana BJP’s firebrand leader Bandi Sanjay Kumar, credited with reviving the party’s fortunes in the state was rewarded by the party leadership with a berth in Narendra Modi’s third Cabinet.
Grassroots Activist to Union Minister: Leadership of Bandi Sanjay

Telangana BJP’s firebrand leader Bandi Sanjay Kumar, credited with reviving the party’s fortunes in the state when it has just one legislator, was amply rewarded by the party leadership with a berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third Cabinet. Sanjay Kumar, who was the president of the party’s State unit from May 2020 to July 2023, was elected as an MP in both 2019 and this year. Sanjay in the recent elections retained the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, winning with a margin of over 2.25 lakh votes.

RSS Karyakartha to Union Minister:

Well known as a Pakka mass leader, with an uncompromised Hindu nationalistic ideological allegiance, started his stint in public affairs humbly being the city convener, city vice president from Karinmnagar in Telangana and State delegate of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He held the office of director at Karimnagar Cooperative Bank for two terms from 1994-2003.

Hanuman of LK Advani during Ratha Yatra:

Sanjay served as an election in-charge at the BJP national office, Delhi, besides, serving as BJP city coordinator, city president, State executive member, State vice-president, and national executive member. He also served as the national coordinator for Bharatiya Janata YuvaMorcha (BJYM), serving in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He was the vehicle charge for the historic Rath Yatra led by former Deputy PM LK Advani.

Sanjay Kumar, who was tempered in the school of RSS over a period of time, emerged as the fiery crusader of Hindutva for BJP.

Rise from the Municipal Corporator to MP:

In electoral politics, Sanjay's first stint started with election as corporator for 48th division of Karimnagar Municipal Corporation. He served twice as corporator, followed by two terms as BJP city unit president. He contested as candidate in the Assembly elections from Karimnagar in 2014 and secured the second position. He won from the Karimnagar LS constituency in 2019 with a majority of 96,009 votes.

No one knew much about him till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. When BJP fielded him for Karimnagar, BRS — then TRS — thought winning the seat had become a fait accompli. The regional party had thought he was no match for its candidate, incumbent MP B Vinod Kumar. Only after the results trickled in did everyone realize that Sanjay Kumar was made of a different mettle.

Naya Josh to Telangana BJP:

After winning the Lok Sabha election from Karimnagar in 2019, Sanjay Kumar breathed new life into the Telangana unit of BJP. A firebrand leader, he latched on to allegations of a nexus between BRS and AIMIM, and forcefully took Hindutva — the bread and butter of his party — into the midst of local Hindus. His fearlessness in attacking BRS, Congress, and AIMIM captured the attention of the youth.

Being a BJP National General Secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar worked hard to establish himself as a State level leader. He has been known as a staunch critic of the previous BRS government and former chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, as well as the current Chief Minister Anumula Revanth Reddy led Congress government in the state.

Good Questions, High Attendance: LS Report Card:

As a Parliament Member from Karimnagar his performance was very good. As per the data provided by the PRS India organization, Sanjay Kumar’s attendance was 74% in average.  He participated in 6 major debates Asked 57 questions in various Lok Sabha sessions during his tenure.

Sanjay was a member Parliamentary Committees on OBC Welfare, and Urban Development in 2019. He was appointed a member of the Tobacco Board and Minority Affairs State-level Committee in 2019. He was appointed a member of the Airports Authority of India, Begumpet Board in 2020.

His appointment as State BJP chief in 2020 shot him into fame nationwide for mounting a relentless fight against the BRS and the then CM K Chandrasekhar Rao government. For the first time, the party was looked at alternate political force in the newly formed Telangana. Later, he was appointed national general secretary in 2023 after Kishan Reddy took over as Telangana BJP president.

Hero of Prajahita Padayatra:

To protest against what he called the “BRS government’s failures”, Kumar had in 2021 launched a statewide Praja Sangram Yatra. In five phases, he covered nearly 60 Assembly constituencies, walking over 1,500 km in 120 days.

Though he suffered a setback by losing the Assembly election from Karimnagar in 2023 December to BRS nominee Gangula Kamalakar by a whisker (3,163 votes), he quickly bounced back and captured the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat. He was elected MP for the second term in 2024 with a margin of 2.25 lakh votes.

Sanjay’s Family Back-Ground:

Bandi Sanjay Kumar was born on 11 July 1971 to Narasayya and Sakuntala couple in a tiny village of erstwhile Karimnagar district. He completed schooling at Sri Saraswathi Shishimandir, in Karimnagar city. Then he earned a M.A. degree from Madhurai Khamaraj University, Tamilnadu in 1986. Hailing from the Munnuru Kapu community, Bandi Sanjay is married to Aparna, an employee with the State Bank of India. The couple has two children – Sai Bhagirath and Sai Sumukh.