In what has come as a surprise, the TDP, which was written off in both Seemandhra and Telangana, bounced back with a vengeance in the first phase of elections held for 5,790 village panchayats in the State on Tuesday.
When reports last came in, it was ahead of the Congress, YSRC and the TRS. The Congress won about 1,524 panchayats and the TDP 1,700. The YSRC, hot favourite in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, came third with 1,140 panchayats. The TRS had to be content with 421. There was no official confirmation of these figures as panchayat polls are not held on party-basis.
Though the Congress performance was okay, it lost in Chittoor district, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s home turf. It managed to secure just 57 panchayats. The other son of the soil, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, walked away with an impressive 137 panchayats.
TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao too received shock therapy in Mahbubnagar, his Lok Sabha constituency. In fact, the district threw up quite a few surprises. The Congress won 168 panchayats as against the TRS’ miserable 12. The TDP pocketed 138 and the YSRC 99. But the Congress and the YSRC fared well in the home districts of their respective state chiefs. The former won 140 panchayats in Vizianagaram which must have cheered PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana. In Kadapa, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s fort, the YSRC bagged 130 panchayats.
In Telangana, the TRS was mauled in several districts. It fared well in Medak alone as party leader T Harish Rao has a firm grip on the district. In Siddipet Assembly segment, represented by him, the TRS won all the 75 panchayats. In what could be bad news for the TRS, the Congress made impressive gains in Telangana. Observers attributed it to the recent impression created by the Congress that it was about to carve out a Telangana state. However, what puzzled many was the TDP’s performance in the region. It made gains not only in Mahbubnagar but also in other Telangana districts, clearly showing that people in the region do not treat it as an “untouchable.” It won 77 in Ranga Reddy district, 60 in Nizamabad and 51 in Nalgonda.
In South Coastal Andhra, it marched ahead of the Congress and YSRC. The gains were notable in West Godavari (125), Krishna (112), Guntur (131) and Prakasam (123). In East Godavari, it won 72 and the YSRC 79. An upbeat Naidu said, “The results show people are disgusted with the Congress and the YSRC.” Not to be outdone, the YSRC and the TRS too claimed victory.