The MLC election results sent shock waves in the YCP after the opposition TDP snatched two graduate constituencies. With the Assembly elections just a year away, the political parties considered the MLC elections held now as the semi-final.
For the first time in the last four years, the YCP faced defeat in elections. The YCP had been the winner in urban and rural local body elections, parishad and sarpanch elections held in the past.
Polls were held for nine MLC seats – three graduate, two teachers and four local authorities constituencies.
Of the three graduate MLC seats, the TDP candidates from two constituencies – North Andhra and East Rayalaseema. The YCP’s executive capital in Vizag has failed to impress the educated voters in North Andhra.
In North Andhra (covering Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts), the party candidate Vepada Chiranjeevi Rao emerged victorious over his nearest rival and YCP-backed candidate Sithamraju Sudhakar.
Similarly, in East Rayalaseema constituency too (Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor) which is considered as the YCP’s stronghold, TDP candidate Kancharla Srikanth defeated his nearest rival Pernati Shyam Prasada Reddy of the YCP.
Despite distributing money to the voters in heavy amount, adopting coercive steps, along with bringing in bogus voters into the scene, the YCP could not succeed in registering victory, says TDP. There are allegations that the YCP distributed silver coins among the voters, ahead of the polls.
YCP senior leader and North Andhra in-charge Y.V. Subba Reddy camped in the constituency for a week before the polls. However, nothing helped the party in defeating the TDP.
Surprisingly, the YCP was defeated in Rayalaseema too, which the party had been considering its stronghold so far. YCP senior leader and minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, belonging to Chittoor district, looked pale and dull in the Assembly lobby knowing about the TDP surging during the counting held yesterday.
In the West Rayalaseema constituency (Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur) too, the YCP faced a stiff competition from the TDP. Counting is still underway in this constituency. Though Kadapa is the native constituency of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, YCP-backed candidate Vennapusa Ravindra Reddy is ahead of his rival Bhumireddy Ramgopal Reddy, supported by the TDP, only with a slight margin.
TDP cadre jubilant
Reacting over the TDP’s victory, party state president K. Atchannaidu said that people have identified the YCP’s three-capitals formula and promise about development of North Andhra region with Vizag as capital were just fake.
TDP senior leader Ayyanna Patrudu said that people hit back at Jagan’s hollow promises on three capitals and Vizag executive capital by voting for the TDP.
The MLC results reflect the fact people in the state are not believing in the administration abilities and governance of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. The victory of the TDP in the two graduate MLC results should sound an alert to Jagan who has raised the slogan of ‘Why Not 175/175’ for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Buoyed by the YCP’s victory in the 2019 elections when the party won 151 seats, Jagan had been urging his party leaders to work tirelessly to reach a much higher goal.
The victory boosted the morale of the TDP cadre and in fact, breathed a fresh lease of life to the party facing an existential threat in Andhra Pradesh. The TDP cadre and others supporting it said that this is the beginning of the YCP’s downfall.
In the West Rayalaseema Graduates constituency, YCP candidate Vennapusa Ravindra Reddy registered victory over his rival candidate, Bhimireddy Ramgopal Reddy of the TDP, with a majority of 2,500 votes.
Though the TDP candidates won just two constituencies of the total nine that went for polls, the YCP cadre were left shocked as they have understood that welfare alone cannot attract voters towards the party. The YCP candidates cannot think of a sweeping victory next time, said political observers.
This is the first time that the ruling YCP contested the teachers’ constituency elections and tasted victory.