VISAKHAPATNAM: The ruling YSRC has trounced the opposition in the just-concluded civic body elections across the State and north Andhra was not an exception. In most of the urban local bodies, the TDP came a distant second or was decimated. However, what surprised many was that in the largest and prestigious corporation of Visakhapatnam, almost 40 per cent of seats were won by the Opposition parties.
The TDP won 30 seats and the Left parties two and an Independent supported by TDP one. The BJP managed to win one seat and its alliance partner Jana Sena 3. However, in the neighbouring Vizianagaram municipal corporation, the TDP won only one seat in the 50-member council. The YSRC, which expected to romp home at least 70 seats in the GVMC, fell short of its own expectations. Though the YSRC victory was termed a mandate for the three-capitals, the victory of the TDP, which is supporting Amaravati, in many wards surprised many in the State.
Interestingly, the YSRC got less than 250 votes’ majority in at least nine seats. The major factor that helped the TDP in Gajuwaka and its neighbourhood, from where two left party nominees supported by the TDP won, was the fallout of steel plant agitation triggered by the statement of Union Finance Minister Nirmal Sitaraman just a few days before the polling. CPM nominee B Ganga Rao supported by the TDP won the 78th ward, under which the steel plant area comes.
The TDP also managed to get more seats in Bheemili and Madhurawada zones, where it won five of the 13 seats. Similarly it won 14 of the 25 wards of zones 7 and 8. In Pendurthi, the TDP won four out of five. Visakhapatnam has been a bastion of the TDP. The party along with the then alliance partner BJP won all the eight Assembly seats in the 2014 elections. Even YSRC honorary president YS Vijayamma lost to BJP nominee K Haribabu in Vizag LS constituency. In 2019, the YSRC, which trounced the TDP by winning 151 Assembly seats, could not win the four Visakhapatnam city constituencies as they were won by the TDP while Gajuwaka, Bheemili, Pendurthi and Anakapalli were bagged by the YSRC.
After coming to power, the YSRC started focusing on Vizag and even wanted to make it the executive capital. The party won 15 of 17 seats in the north constituency and 10 out of 14 segments in the West. The YSRC managed to win the GVMC polls notwithstanding the VSP issue and strong support base of the TDP in the Port City.