VIJAYAWADA: The BJP, which improved its vote share in Tirupati parliamentary bypoll earlier this year, has seen a considerable increase in its vote share in Badvel assembly by-election. From an abysmal 0.47 per cent (735) votes in 2019, the saffron party managed to garner 14.73 per cent votes (21,678), which the party termed a “remarkable rise”.But, can the rise be only attributed to the BJP, considering that TDP was not in the fray and the saffron brigade was backed by its aly Jana Sena? “Remarkable rise in vote share for the BJP in Badvel. Laudable efforts by karyakartas under the able leadership of Somu Veerraju. The BJP will soon emerge as a force to reckon with in AP,” tweeted Union Minister and State incharge V Muraleedharan. Party’s national secretary and state co-incharge Sunil Deodhar described Badvel by-election as a “new milestone in BJP’s growth trajectory” and thanked Jana Sena for its support.
Somu Veerraju, on the other hand, claimed that the bypoll made the opposition against YSRC government evident. “Evidence of this is the increase in voter turnout to almost 300 times than in the last election. Soon the people will teach the YSRC a lesson against the government’s atrocities,” he said.But, some senior leaders feel that it is too early to claim that the party is growing as the principal opposition, TDP, decided to opt out of this poll.
They pointed out that not just the BJP, but even the Congress, which virtually has no stakes in AP after the State division, has seen an increase in its vote share. From 1.49 per cent (2,334 votes) in 2019, Congress’ candidate PM Kamalamma got 4.24 per cent (6,235 votes) this time. In fact, the Congress got more votes in Badvel (6,235 votes) than it did in Huzurabad assembly bypoll (3,014 votes) in Telangana, where it is still considered to be in the fight. Same is the case with NOTA, which saw 3,650 voters opting for it as compared to 2,004 in 2019. The BJP lost its deposit in the bypoll. Some party leaders have also felt that the party was relying too much on the religious plank.