For the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which aims at capturing power in Andhra Pradesh in the next elections scheduled for May 2024, the clean sweep in the three graduates MLC elections held last week and the surprise win of party candidate P Anuradha in the MLA quota MLC elections conducted on Thursday have come as a shot in the arm for it. The party cadre, whose morale has been at a low ebb after a poor show in the last elections, is now in a jubilant mood and confident of outsmarting the rival YSRCP in the days to come.
Anti-incumbency factor was quite evident in the three graduates MLC elections as the constituencies spread over 12 districts in North Andhra, East and West Rayalaseema. The verdict of graduates is clear that they are not happy with the four-year rule of the YSRCP. Experts say that Direct Money Transfer in the name of people’s welfare ignoring development makes no impact on voters. Moreover, growing unemployment and the failure of the government to bring pressure on key issues like the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Polavaram, the new rail zone worked against the YSRCP.
Brewing dissidence among a section of ruling party MLAs has come to the fore on Thursday. As many as four YSRCP MLAs resorted to cross-voting paving the way for the victory of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate P Anuradha in the MLA quota MLC elections. The development came as a shocker for the YSRCP which was confident of winning all seven seats for which elections were held. While two MLAs- Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy (Nellore Rural) and Anam Ramnarayan Reddy (Venkatagiri), who are stamped as rebels, reportedly indulged in cross-voting, two more defied the party. With this, the TDP, which has 19 members in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, crossed the magic figure of 22 to win a seat in the MLA quota MLC elections. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu planned strategically and made the impossible possible by cashing in on the dissidence in the YSRCP.
In the last general election, the TDP received a drubbing and won only 23 seats out of 175. The number has come down to 19 with four party MLAs- Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar (Visakha South), Vallabhaneni Vamsi (Gannavaram), Karanam Balaramakrishna Murty (Chirala) and M. Giridhara Rao (Guntur West) shifted loyalties and started working for the ruling party.
Against this backdrop, the growing dissidence may prove dearer for the YSRCP if it fails to nip it in the bud. On the other hand, the TDP starts moving strategically, aiming at sure victory for its hustling.
Meanwhile, the YSRCP strength in the Council is all set to go up to 44, while for the TDP it will come down to 10 from 17. Similarly, the PDF number will fall from five to three. The total strength of the Council is 58.
Article written by Lakkoju Nagesh Babu, senior journalist and Column Editor.
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