Nandyal Bypoll: Caste Polarization Makes The Battle Tougher
Nandyal: The YSR Congress chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy begins his uninterrupted campaign in the constituency from Wednesday. He begins his campaign with the road show in the town.
Before reaching the town and launching his campaign, Jagan roped in two dominant communities in his favour. The Muslims who constitute a major share of the total voters are now visibly with YSR Congress, as he has gifted them 2018 MLC seat for the community.
Though the TDP has already given the MLC seat to former Minister Farooq, the community is tilting towards Jagan more than the TDP.
The other community – Aarya Vaisyas – too, as appears, has moved on to the YSR Congress for the promise that Jagan had made to create a finance corporation for them when he comes to power.
The confidence that Jagan would fulfill the promises is going down well among the people, and that is the reason why the leaders of the community have extended support to the YSR Congress in the by-election.
Though their presence is limited, the Kapu community too is understood to be supporting the YSR Congress. The community is unhappy with the TDP leadership and the government for not giving them the BC status and not even allowing them to hold any protests. The community leader and former minister Mudragada Padmanabham is kept under unofficial house arrest at his Kirlampudi house in East Godavari District.
The Madiga community from the SCs, which has been fighting for categorization of reservations for over a decade, is now up in arms against the TDP leadership for targeting their leader Manda Krishna Madiga. Though Jagan Mohan Reddy did not make his mind on the reservations or rather not committed to categorization, the community with its resentment on the TDP is said to be moving close to the YSR Congress.
The washermen community – Rajakas – who have been fighting for their inclusion in the SC list, as promised by Chandrababu Naidu in the 2014 elections, has been fighting for the cause for the past one-and-a-half years. Their leaders were arrested and the community is being prevented from holding any protests. The community is now moving away from the ruling TDP, though not moving close to the YSR Congress.
While there is no guarantee that the Madiga votes would go to the YSR Congress, their exit is set to cost dearly for the ruling TDP.
The polarization of the castes is set to be consolidated during the campaign of Jagan Mohan Reddy at which the YSR Congress leaders are working strategically. It is to be seen how the TDP handles this caste polarization as it takes the election more prestigious than ever.