VIJAYAWADA: Continuing its winning streak, the ruling YSRC has relegated the TDP to the margins as it swept the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) elections, when the results were announced on Sunday.Though the polls were conducted on April 8, the counting of votes had been stayed due to legal hurdles till the Andhra Pradesh High Court cleared the way on September 16.
When reports last came in, YSRC has won 5,926 out of 7,219 MPTC seats and of the 515 ZPTC seats, for which elections were held, it captured 468. The TDP won 6 ZPTC and 803 MPTC seats. In further embarrassment to the TDP, the YSRC made a clean sweep in Kuppam Assembly constituency, the bastion of its chief N Chandrababu Naidu, by winning all the four ZPTC seats and 62 of the 65 MPTC seats.
The ruling party won Gudipalli, Kuppam, Shantipuram and Ramakuppam ZPTCs. In all, it bagged 17 of the 19 MPTC seats in Kuppam mandal, besides all the 12 MPTC seats in Gudipalli, 16 in Ramakuppam and 17 of the 18 MPTCs in Shantipuram mandal. The TDP could only manage two MPTCs in Kuppam and one in Shantipuram.
The results were no different in Tekkali constituency, the home turf of TDP state chief K Atchannaidu. The YSRC won all the four ZPTCs (Tekkali, Nandigam, Santabommali and Kotabommali) and won 72 of the 78 MPTCs, while TDP could win only four MPTCs.
The trend was more or less the same in other Assembly segments. After its resounding victory in the Assembly and general elections in 2019, the YSRC has been on a roll, retaining Tirupati in the by-election, recording a landslide in municipal elections and panchayat elections, and now, sweeping the MPTC and ZPTC polls.
YSRC’s victory was expected but the magnitude of the same prompted party leaders to assert that their vote-share exceeded 50 per cent – more than they had cornered in the 2019 elections. The party won in both urban and rural areas, and the results appeared to be an extension of its performance in municipal and panchayat elections.
The party leaders credited Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s slew of welfare schemes aimed at various sections of the society, mostly through Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, for the results. Another reason being cited was the government’s handling of Covid-19. “The landslide reflects the endorsement of people’s faith in the good governance of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy,” Minister for Panchayat Raj Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said.
“Despite TDP’s every effort to conspire and influence the results, people have taught that party a befitting lesson,” he added.Advisor (public affairs) to the government Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy observed, “The results show that when a government is on the right path, taking care of people and their necessities, any number of lies or conspiracies will fail and they will continue to pin their faith in the government.”
Sunday saw the TDP in a cleft-stick with some partymen who won here and there claiming victory while party leaders dismissed the results, recalling that the party had boycotted the polls.To refresh the memory, poll notification was first issued in March last year. The TDP had then issued B Forms and actively participated in the election process.
However, it raised an alarm after several MPTCs and ZPTCs went to the YSRC unanimously. At the time, the then State Election Commissioner Nimmagada Ramesh deferred the elections, bringing relief to the TDP. When the notification was reissued on April 1 this year, the TDP took legal course to stop it, demanding the election process should begin afresh. When its efforts failed, the TDP leadership announced boycott of elections at the last moment.
TDP State president K. Atchannaidu termed the results ‘bogus’, and accused the ruling party of poll violations, and violence. He dared the Chief Minister to contest the elections once again in a ‘free and fair manner’Despite his bravado, several party leaders admit in private that the party has been heading in the wrong direction ever since its drubbing in the 2019 elections. Party insiders, on condition of anonymity, told TNIE that the leadership was mistaking “virtual, online campaigns” for real groundwork. They fear that middle and lower rung leaders may dump the party after the bitter lesson of “last minute betrayal” by the high command in the ZPTC and MPTC polls.
Elections to MPP and ZP chiefs on September 24, 25
Vijayawada: State Election Commissioner Nilam Sawhney on Sunday issued notifications for the election of Mandal Praja Parishad presidents and vice-presidents and Zilla Parishad chairpersons and vice-chairpersons. The MPP presidents and vice-presidents will be elected on September 24, while ZPTC members will elect Zilla Parishad chairpersons and vice-chairpersons on September 25. District Collectors have been directed to issue notifications for the election of MPP presidents and vice-presidents on September 20 and for ZP chairpersons and vice-chairpersons on September 21. Members will also be co-opted to MPPs and ZPs on September 24 and 25.