TDP’S Victory In Municipal By-Elections, Still Strong In Urban Voters
Amaravati: The stupendous victory of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the by-elections to the municipal wards in the State projects its strong base among the urban voters. It also clarifies the absence of the Opposition YSR Congress in the cities. The YSR Congress had won just two municipal wards, one in Mangalagiri and the other in Rayachoti, while the TDP had won 13 municipal wards out of the 16 wards that went for by-elections and results of which were out on April 12. The TDP had already won 21 municipal wards unanimously.
Though the TDP’s defeat in the 31st municipal ward in Mangalagiri municipality is seen as its weakness in the capital area as the municipality forms part of the capital region, its victory in majority wards is claimed as its strength. Interestingly, the TDP had won the by-election in 19th ward in Gudivada municipality, the fortress of YSR Congress legislator Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao alias Nani. The TDP had lost this Assembly seat, once represented by the party founder late N T Rama Rao. After its victory in 2014 elections, the TDP had successfully engineered defections in the municipal council including the chairman post. In the 36 member municipal council, the TDP could increase its strength to 27 with defections from the YSR Congress councilors.
Similarly, the TDP had won the municipal by-elections in Hindupur, Tadipatri, Chittoor, Palamaneru, Srisailam, Ramachandrapuram, Macherla, Yalamanchili and Parvathipuram municipalities. The ruling TDP’s victory in the urban local bodies gives a sigh of relief to the party leadership as it had faced humiliating defeat in the MLC elections from the Graduates and Teachers constituencies. Except in the three north Andhra districts the TDP had lost all the four MLC seats covering the four Rayalaseema districts besides Nellore and Prakasam. This defeat was viewed as losing ground for the TDP among the popular voters, but the victory in the municipalities proved that its base among the urban voters is strong.
It is a fact that the ruling party will have an advantage in the by-elections as it can use the money and power to influence the voters. The YSR Congress leaders allege that the TDP had spent huge amount of money to win the municipal wards. But the fact is that victory is important for a political party and that is what the TDP had done, even by influencing the voters. The victory in by-elections may not cause any changes in the political dispensation but it helps in building a positive image for the party that wins. It is here that the TDP had won