Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Congress Mukt Andhra Pradesh is complete!

The following article has been written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference:

We woke to a beautiful headline in the newspaper today – Over 150 candidates of the Congress in Seemandhra region lose deposits! There are 175 seats in Seemandhra region, and 150 of them did not even think that Congress leaders were worth even getting their deposits back! The washout was expected – but the intensity with which they were washed out in the Seemandhra region simply belied all expectations! However, the shocker for the Congress was not these results in Seemandhra. The abysmal results in Telangana region totally threw them into depression.
The primary purpose of Sonia Gandhi to divide the State of Andhra Pradesh was to atleast win the Telangana region. Many called it her masterstroke – by dividing the State, she will win Telangana with the help of TRS and will ensure TDP loses in both States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. I have written many articles deriding the process and methodology adopted by the Congress; the important nuance of being pro-bifurcation and being against the methods adopted was assumed to be lost in the din. However, the people of both the regions have realised the selfish game played by Sonia Gandhi. They got frustrated with the utterances of Digvijay Singh; the campaign of Jairam Ramesh; and the sound bites of Sushil Kumar Shinde! The result – Congress reduced to a paltry 20 seats in Telangana.
The TDP+BJP combine too notched up 20 seats – a bigger slap in the face of the Congress! Indications from the local body poll pointed out to a strong possibility of an hung Assembly in Telangana. Contrary to all these expectations, the TRS won 63 seats out of the 119 in Telangana. People have identified only this party to be the main reason for the birth of the new State and therefore, have decided to repose faith in TRS to build the new State. Telangana State Assembly will include a lot of new faces as compared to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. Many students and union leaders who were part of the Telangana movement have been given party tickets and a few of them have emerged victorious.
Seemandhra region saw a neck-neck race from a vote share perspective. The TDP+BJP combine has, however, emerged much stronger from a seats perspective. The TDP won 102 and the BJP 4 in the 175 seat Assembly. The YSRCP won 67 seats. Two seats were won by rebel TDP candidates, who in all likelihood will return to the parent party. This means that the AP Assembly will have only 3 parties – the TDP, BJP and YSRCP! The vote to TDP is seen as a vote to experience and hope. Chandrababu Naidu is widely regarded as the architect of the modern AP – and his promise to repeat his performance in the residual State of AP has gathered voter’s attention.
Pawan Kalyan’s campaign has added more strength to the party in this Assembly election.  The turnaround of the TDP is phenomenal. During the last 5 years, there were more than 40 bye-elections to the Assembly (for various reasons). The TDP did not win a single one of them. Back in 2012, I even wrote a blog asking if the TDP is Nai”doom“ed such was the dire situation in the party. This phenomenal turn-around in the fortunes of the party can be attributed to many things but primarily among them is the supreme hard work put in by Naidu in the last 2 years. He did a 2700 km padayatra across the State; even when there was anger against the party in Seemandhra region immediately after Sonia Gandhi’s decision to bifurcate, he did not hesitate to go to the people and explain his stand. He has been consistently amongst people in the last 2 years and has ofcourse promised a lot of freebies. It remains an amazing fact that despite losing elections for 10 years, he has held his cadre together.
The YSRCP is an abomination. It is an off-spring of the Congress, and shares many virtues of the parent party (like Dynasty, arrogance, money power etc). The negative campaign; the jailing of Jagan; the lack of experience in politics; the supreme arrogance of Jagan – all these have contributed a lot to the defeat of the party. Back in 2012, the party won 15 out of 18 seats that went to bypoll. At least 13 of them have lost the elections this time (within 2 years!).
The only solace that the YSRCP can take is that this is a commendable performance for a first time party! June 2 is when both the States will come into existence. Until then, there will be no Government and we will continue to be under President’s Rule. So not much of a political activity is expected until then.

Already three bypoll are in order!

1. KCR won from Medak Parliamentary constituency too. He will now resign to that seat, so a bypoll will be held for that seat.
2. YSRCP’s candidate for Allagadda Assembly constituency, Shobha Nagi Reddy passed away in a car accident before the election. The election was not countermanded because YSRCP was not a recognised party then. She won the seat posthumously by 16,000 votes. A bypoll will be held soon.
3. One EVM in Kalvakurthi Assembly constituency did mal-functioned. Votes could not be counted! The Congress candidate is currently leading by 150 votes – so the Election Commission has ordered a repoll in this polling booth today!


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