VIJAYAWADA: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, which romped home in the State Assembly elections, secured the mandate of nearly 50 per cent of the electorate while the TDP got 39.6 per cent vote share.
With a vote share of 49.9 per cent, the YSRC bagged 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly while the TDP ended up with a mere 23. The remaining one seat was won by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party, whose vote share is somewhere between 2 to 4 per cent.
According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), 1.28 per cent of the people voted for NOTA (None Of The Above) while the Congress could get 1.17 per cent of total votes in the State. The BJP, which stormed to power at the Centre, managed to get 0.84 per cent of votes. The CPI, CPM and BSP, which contested elections in alliance with the JSP, managed to secure 0.11, 0.32 and 0.28 per cent vote share respectively.
However, the TDP, which is yet to take stock of the situation for the drubbing it suffered, in its initial assessment, it found Pawan Kalyan’s JSP as the villain of the piece for its tragic show. The TDP fought the 2014 elections in alliance with the BJP and the JSP. Pawan Kalyan and his party did not contest the elections but campaigned extensively for the TDP-BJP combine.
In 2014, the TDP-BJP combine got a vote share of 46.79 per cent and YSRC got just two per cent less and had to contend with the Opposition role. This elections, however, the margin of vote share between the two was almost 10 per cent and even if the TDP and JSP fought together, they could not have stopped Jagan wave.
“It is not that the JSP factor marred our prospects of coming back to power, but the number of seats we won would have been more,’’ a TDP leader opined.
However, the TDP is of the view that the JSP by contesting on its own did impact the course of results. The votes secured by several of the JSP candidates, who lost their deposits, would have made the difference to the TDP.
The JSP had marred the prospects of the TDP in at least 40 Assembly seats, particularly in Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts and in Visakhapatnam, and also in eight LS seats. The entry of JSP along with its allies CPI, CPM and BSP, which the YSRC looked as a ploy by the TDP to cut into its vote share, in fact, dented the TDP’s prospects.
Take for instance Mangalagiri where TDP’s Nara Lokesh made a disastrous electoral debut. Lokesh was pitted against Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, a strong contender, and also JSP-Left candidate Muppala Nageswara Rao of the CPI. Lokesh lost with a margin of over 5,200 votes. Muppalla Nageswara Rao secured over 10,000 votes here.
If one considers Mangalagiri as a tight contest, as it was never a stronghold for the TDP, the worst defeat for the party came from Ponnur in Guntur district. The party’s six-time MLA Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar lost by a little over 1,100 votes. Playing its part of being a spoilsport for the TDP, JSP’s Parvathi Boni garnered well over 12,000 votes. “The JSP did not cut into the votes of the YSRC and the latter’s vote share was intact. It was the TDP’s vote share which got dented,’’ the leader said.
Contesting on its own without alliance with the TDP also cost the JSP and its chief Pawan Kalyan, who lost both the seats where he contested. The JSP won only one seat.
In Bhimavaram, Pawan lost by a margin of over 8,000 votes to YSRC’s Grandhi Srinivas. TDP’s Puliparthi Ramanjaneyulu, who stood third, secured 54,000-odd votes.
“This clearly indicates that the two parties fighting it alone had made a dent into the other’s vote share at several places,’’ the leader said. Similarly, in Gajuwaka, the other seat from where Pawan Kalyan lost by nearly 15,000 votes, the TDP managed to get 56,642 votes. “Had the votes of TDP fell in the kitty of Pawan Kalyan, he would have tasted victory,’’ the leader felt.
In some constituencies like Vijayawada Central, JSP factor left both the TDP and the YSRC in a tight spot. YSRC’s candidate Malladi Vishnu won by a margin of just 25 votes. The JSP-backed CPM candidate Chigurupati Babu Rao’s 29,333 votes would have made the battle more interesting.
The JSP factor, however, was not much seen in Rayalaseema and Nellore districts where the new entrant could not make any impact on the election process. This is not confined to Assembly segments alone.
In Visakhapatnam LS segment, JSP’s VV Lakshminarayana was relegated to third place. YSRC’s MVV Satyanarayana won with a margin of over 4,000 votes while VVL got more than 2.88 lakh votes. “Had there been an alliance with the JSP, it would have been easier for the TDP to win the seat,’’ he said.
Apart from the Jana Sena factor, the TDP’s last-minute doles like Pasupu Kumkuma, enhanced pensions and financial assistance to farmers did not translate into votes for the ruling party.