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Friday, April 19, 2024, 6:11 pm

Friday, April 19, 2024, 6:11 pm

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Andhra Pradesh is set for a three-cornered contest after the TDP’s return to the NDA.

Andhra Pradesh
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In Andhra Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieved a significant tactical win by welcoming back an adversary, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), as well as a former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who was the convenor of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in New Delhi.
The BJP was all but written out of the State’s Assembly election in 2019 with a vote percentage of just 0.84%. It was believed to be the entity that had broken its pledge to continue the Special Category Status (SCS) for an additional five years. The TDP managed to poll nearly 40% of the votes, despite contesting independently, but only won 23 of the 175 seats in the Assembly. While many saw the party’s departure from the NDA just months before the 2019 elections as too little, too late, given the general dissatisfaction against the alliance for “betraying” the State. The Jana Sena Party (JSP), led by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, garnered about 6% of the vote and won one seat. In contrast, the BJP, which ran unopposed in 173 of the 175 seats, received no response at all. The Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, led by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, emerged victorious with a staggering 50% of the vote and 151 Assembly seats in the five-cornered campaign.

Although the departure of Y.S. Sharmila, the younger sister of Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, from the YSRCP has provided the Congress with an advantage in the State and made the Chief Minister vulnerable, the TDP continues to be the primary opposition party. The 73-year-old, three-time former Chief Minister has gained significant support from the people of the State as a result of his predawn arrest by Andhra’s Crime Investigation Department on September 9, 2023, over corruption allegations in the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation case.  The YSRCP may win if the anti-Jagaan votes are split between the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and the NDA. Alternatively, there may be a significant shift in the incumbent’s voter base, which includes minorities, Dalits, and Backward Castes who may see Ms. Sharmila as a representative of the YSR legacy, giving the TDP the advantage in a three-way race.

Abhishek Verma

Editor, Canon Times

 

 


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