VIJAYAWADA: The TDP leaders, despite exuding confidence about winning the elections and retaining power with more seats than it bagged in 2014, are however, of the view that their prospects would have improved more if the government conducted elections for the local bodies, particularly Panchayats, on schedule.
As the term of the Panchayat bodies came to an end about 8 months ago, the general prediction that elections for Panchayats will be organised any time once the general elections are concluded was better understood by the village-level leaders and they therefore took the general elections as a stage for show of strength by taking it very serious so as to safeguard their respective groups for the ensuing panchayat elections.
A TDP leader felt that the fever of Panchayat elections in near future activated the local leaders, particularly in north coastal Andhra districts. He said that apart from the TDP followers, who all benefitted by the schemes of the TDP government, some of the YSRCP sympathisers also decided to extend their support to TDP in general elections. But, the issue of conducting Panchayat elections immediately after the general elections, gave enough ammo to the local leaders for preparing ground for contesting in Panchayat elections, to take the general elections as a prestige issue and give their 100 per cent, if not more.
“Unlike in ballot paper system, where the polled votes from all over the constituency used to be counted after separation and making into bundles, through counting on EVMs, one can clearly know booth-wise details. Thus, local leaders of both the parties were forced to sweat it out in the general elections as any backlash will reflect negatively on their future prospects in panchayat elections,’’ another leader said.
Despite the fact that people in most of the villages would go by the candidate of their choice in panchayat elections, irrespective of their political affiliations, he said when it came to general elections, they would exercise their franchise in favour of the candidate of the party, which they felt had executed better welfare and development programmes. Though TDP government implemented welfare schemes on a big note, local leaders preparing to contest in the upcoming Panchayat elections appeared firm and began representing their choice of party and fought tooth and nail with the sole intention to protect their base for the Panchayat elections, the leader said.
When asked whether the said phenomenon would have any impact on the prospects of the party, TDP AP President K Kala Venkata Rao rubbished the argument and maintained that schemes like ‘Pasupu Kumkuma’, ‘Annadata Sukhibhava’ and the initiatives taken up by the TDP government had remarkable positive impact and drew the voters to polling stations for casting their votes in favour of TDP, which he said was going to form the government with more seats than they got in 2014.