Is TDP So Weak To Win In Rayalaseema?

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders in Andhra Pradesh, right from its national president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, are justifying the inclusion of four turncoat legislators in the Cabinet. While three of them are from Rayalaseema region, the fourth one is from the north coastal districts.

The TDP had included YSR Congress legislators C Adinarayana Reddy, N Amarnath Reddy and Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy from the Rayalaseema district and Rao Venkata Sujayakrishna Ranga Rao from Vizianagaram district of north coastal region. The TDP leaders claim that these inclusions were required to the party’s victory in the 2019 elections. This statement is the talk of the State with majority of the ruling party leaders raising doubts over the TDP’s strength in the State. “Do we need YSR Congress legislators to win the 2019 elections?” is the single question that the TDP leaders are posing to one another, particularly in the camps of the dissident leaders.

The TDP had won 102 Assembly seats out of 175 in the 2014 elections and formed the government with comfortable majority, 14 seats more than the simple majority as the YSR Congress had closely followed with 67 seats, just 21 seats short of the simple majority. The TDP did well in the two Godavari districts, Krishna, Guntur and Ananthapur districts, besides some seats in the north coastal districts, while the YSR Congress did comparatively well in the Rayalaseema districts and the north coastal districts, besides Nellore and Prakasam.

Almost three years later, the TDP had lost the MLC elections for the Teachers and Graduates constituencies that involved sections of the general voters. Having fared comparatively poor in the 2014 elections and lost badly in the 2017 MLC elections, the TDP leadership had felt that it would require the YSR Congress legislators to retain power in the 2019 elections.

The TDP could not fare well in Chandrababu Naidu’s home turf – Chittoor – in 2014 when there was TDP wave in the State and Modi wave across the country. The TDP could win just 6 seats here while the YSR Congress had won 8 seats. In Kurnool, the TDP had won 4 seats, while the YSR Congress had won 11 seats. It was only in Ananthapur the TDP had won 13 seats leaving one to the YSR Congress. In all, out of the 52 Assembly seats, the TDP could win 23 seats, while the YSR Congress had won 29 seats. This poor performance was visible even in the Teachers and Graduates constituency MLC elections held in these districts, where the TDP had lost miserably.

It is for this reason the TDP supremo had set his eyes on the strong leaders from the YSR Congress and had finally won them. Chandrababu Naidu believes that the Bhuma family in Kurnool, N Amarnatha Reddy from Chittoor and C Adinarayana Reddy from Kadapa would give big win for the TDP in the 2019 elections.

In the north coastal districts too, the TDP chief seems to believe that YSR Congress legislator Ravu Venkata Sujayakrishna Ranga Rao would bring more fortune to the TDP in the 2019 elections.

But the big question that the TDP ranks put to each other is that can’t TDP win the 2019 elections without YCP MLAs?

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