Nandyal Bypoll: With Nominations Process Done, The Real Battle Begins
Nandyala: The battle lines are drawn clearly with the returning officer completing the scrutiny of the nominations and holding 24 valid. Though there was tension for some hours in the state with the Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress candidates filing petitions against each other for disqualification of the nominations, the returning officer has left the battle to them to be fought in the peoples’ court.
The TDP candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy and the YSR Congress candidate Silpa Mohan Reddy are the major contestants, though 22 others are in the fray. Interesting aspect is that these two candidates have independents with similar names, just to confuse the voters on the EVMs. However, the confusion is limited, as the voter goes by the party symbol while pressing the button.
The TDP is sitting comfortable, being the ruling party. It has the advantage of using or influencing the police and poll officials both in its favour and against the opposition. In addition, the ruling party also has the advantage of claiming the welfare initiatives that it rolled out during the last two months.
The housing programme for 13,000 families, which was initiated last month, is on its side as the prospective beneficiaries of these families have high hopes of getting a house only if the TDP wins. If the applicants really believe that the TDP would complete the houses and give them, it would turn a major advantage to the ruling party.
But, as being claimed by the YSR Congress, if voters are not ready to take these promises and development initiatives seriously and go by the merit of the performance of the party during the last three years, no developmental initiative would bring votes for the TDP. However, the election is also between the two families and two leaders.
The families are locked in tight battle. Bhuma family is now leaderless and is getting disintegrated as Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy is too young to lead the faction-followers. The Silpa family is growing strong with the two brothers — Mohan Reddy and Chakrapani Reddy — coming out firm on proving their hold in the district politics.
Besides this family fight for supremacy, on the broader end, the by-election is also a battle between the TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and his YSR Congress rival Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
While Naidu has to prove that his regime and leadership is still acceptable to the people, Jagan has to prove that people are looking for his leadership. The two parties and the two leaders have taken this election as a semi-final for the 2019, and as a benchmark for their future. This had made the election more interesting and tough.
The camps of the two sides are now active fighting the battle for their leaders. The social media is vibrant sharing and campaigning for their leaders vibrantly and even to some extent violently. But, the voter is silent, confusing the analysts, giving no scope for a clear assessment.