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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: In Andhra, It's YSRCP’s welfare schemes vs TDP-BJP-JSP combine

As the campaign reaches its peak, leaders from both sides are sweating it out to woo approximately 4.8 crore voters.
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 23:20 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 23:20 IST

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Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh, which is gearing up for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously on May 13, is expected to witness a fierce battle between YSRCP and TDP-BJP-Jana Sena alliance.

As the campaign reaches its peak, leaders from both sides are sweating it out to woo approximately 4.8 crore voters.

These elections are significant to Andhra Pradesh as the state that has been facing a host of issues ever since bifurcation a decade ago. The outcome of these elections will not only determine the next government but will also pave the way for the state's future trajectory.

There are 175 seats in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

In the 2019 assembly elections, the YSRCP emerged victorious, securing 151 seats and registering 49.95% votes, while the TDP managed to secure only 22 seats and secured 39.17% votes.

These elections are crucial for YSRCP and Jagan to maintain the momentum they built with their historic landslide victory in 2019. Equally, for Naidu, who is in his 70s, winning this election is important to keep the party alive and also to pass on the baton to his son, Nara Lokesh.

For Jana Sena and Pawan Kalyan, who had not witnessed any significant electoral dividends in their 10-year journey, these elections are a desperate bid to stay afloat.

The TDP is contesting 144 constituencies, leaving the rest to the BJP and Jana Sena.

Though the voting gap between the TDP and YSRCP has been as wide as 10.78%  in the last elections, the opposition alliance is confident of bridging the gap, given what they call the five-year misrule of the YSRCP led by Jagan.

The YSRCP has been banking on its five years of welfare-centric governance, and Jagan has been driving the message that to defeat one single person, everyone else has joined hands.

Poll Arithmetic

While such utterances may help in perception-building, pure arithmetic seems to have prompted the opposition to join hands.

A quick cursory analysis of the voting pattern in the 2019 state and general elections shows the Jana Sena marred the chances of the TDP in more than 40 Assembly constituencies, particularly in Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

Even though they lost their security deposits, the Jana Sena candidates polled votes that could have made a difference to the TDP in several seats.

For instance, in Mangalagiri, TDP chief Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh made a disastrous electoral debut. The election pitted Lokesh against Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, a formidable contender, and Jana Sena-Left candidate Muppala Nageswara Rao of the CPI.

Lokesh lost by a margin of a little over 5,200 votes. Muppalla Nageswara Rao secured over 10,000 votes.

In Ponnur, the TDP's six-time MLA, Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar, lost by a little over 1,100 votes, while Jana Sena’s Parvathi Boni secured around 12,000 votes.

Contesting on its own without an alliance with the TDP also cost the Jana Sena and its chief, Pawan Kalyan, who lost both of the seats he contested in 2019.

In Bhimavaram, Pawan lost by a margin of over 8,000 votes to the YSRCP's Grandhi Srinivas. TDP’s Puliparthi Ramanjaneyulu, who stood third, secured 54,000-odd votes. Similarly, in Gajuwaka, the other seat from which Pawan Kalyan lost by nearly 15,000 votes, the TDP managed to get 56,642 votes.

Had the TDP votes gone in favour of Pawan Kalyan, he would have won at least one seat. Fighting alone, the two parties dented each other’s vote share in several places.

Finding relevance

Both Congress and BJP have found themselves relegated to the sidelines, their relevance dwindling amidst the rise of regional forces in Andhra Pradesh. These national parties are now scrambling to find some relevance.

The future of national parties in this crucial state remains an open question, awaiting an answer in the upcoming elections, as Congress and the BJP attempt to regain lost ground.

As polling day approaches, even after 10 years of bifurcation,  special category status and capital city elude Andhra Pradesh.

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Published 01 May 2024, 23:20 IST

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