In Andhra Pradesh TDP-BJP Alliance Emerges As Winning Combination
The TDP-BJP alliance, which was initially thought to be a disastrous combination for both the parties in Seemandhra and Telangana, turned out to be a winning combination and the alliance emerged victorious in Seemandhra and has done considerably well in Telangana.
TDP president N Chandnrababu Naidu who had unceremoniously disconnected his association with BJP following poll debacle in 2004, later several times announced that in his life time he would not turn towards BJP. But with the Congress Working Committee decision on state bifurcation, last year, he sensed that it would be politically dangerous for him and found that only Narendra Modi’s image could save him from the political mess.
Immediately, he succeeded to revive his association with the BJP by joining BJP leaders at Bhopal victory celebrations of Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. However, the BJP cadres in Telangana were suspicious about associating with him due to his ‘anti-Telangana’ image and tried to pressurise party high command against such alliance. On the other hand, the TDP cadres in Seemandhra region were worried that the association with BJP, a party that played a crucial role in getting the Parliament nod for Telangana bill, may cost them heavily.
However, both the BJP national leadership and Chandrababu Naidu succeeded in coming out from such initial obstructions and presented before the people TDP-BJP as an winning combination. It may be recalled that under Chandrababu Naidu’s leadership, TDP had registered major electoral success only in 1999 polls in alliance with BJP. After those polls, now only he succeeded in getting electoral benefits, against associating with BJP. The TDP-BJP combine got a clear majority in Seemandhra with 106 Assembly seats out of the 175 and has captured a majority of 18 Lok Sabha seats, out of 25 seats. Among these seats, BJP has won two Lok Sabha seats and four Assemlby seats.
Even in Telangana, the combine fared better than expectations. The BJP which contested 46 Assembly and eight Lok Sabha won five Assembly seats in the GHMC area and one Lok Sabha seat. The TDP contested 72 Assembly and nine LS seats, has won 15 Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat. TDP-BJP combine has won 20 Assembly seats, which is less than one seat to 21 seats won by the Congress.
Similarly, in Seemandhra the BJP contested 13 Assembly and four LS seats, while the TDP contested 162 Assembly and 22 Lok Sabha seats. In the initial rounds, it was neck and neck fight between TDP-BJP and YSR Congress in a majority of the 13 districts of Seemandhra, but subsequently the alliance raced ahead. BJP Seemandhra unit chief Dr. K Haribabu emerged as a ‘giant killer’ defeating YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s mother YS Vijayalakshmi in Visakhapatnam LS constituency.
Though Chandrababu Naidu, who comfortably retained his Kuppam Assembly seat, his sister-in-law and BJP candidate Daggubati Purandeswari was not lucky enough and lost the Rajampet Lok Sabha seat. However, veteran film actor Murali Mohan won the Rajmundry Lok Sabha seat very comfortably.
Chandrababu Naidu termed the victory of his party in Seemandhra as “people’s victory” and vowed to develop the state like Singapore. BJP Telangana unit chief G Kishan Reddy, who was against the alliance, also retained his Amberpet Assembly seat for the third consecutive term with a thumping majority of 62,000.
Chandrababu Naidu described two major factors for his success. According to him, Narendra Modi presence helped him to create a sense of confidence among people of Seemandhra region, who are suffering with fear of marginalised after animator act of state bifurcation without taking care of their interests.
“Both Narendra Modi and I am known for our keen interest on development. People convinced with our election we can ensure faster development of the region”, he said. Presently, the Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation seems to be in severe financial mess and feels difficult to pay employees salaries for the first month. So, Naidu said he has the burden of developing the state from the very base. In this mission, he felt, Narendra Modi’s help at the centre would be crucial.
Recalling that from 1998 to 2004, the NDA at the centre and TDP in the state provided very good governance, Naidu is confident the same would be repeated now also with the combination of TDP and BJP.
IT’S KCR MAGIC IN TELANGANA
While most of the country witnessed Narendra Modi’s wave, it was Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhara Rao’s magic yielded good results. It has cornered as many as 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, surpassing its own performance in Assembly polls.
KCR magic has worked in both North and South Telangana districts, helping the party’s LS nominees win. KCR has won Medak Lok Sabha seat with a record margin of over 3.97 lakh votes, while his daughter K Kavitha defeated Madhu Yashki of the Congress to wrest Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat.
The party nabbed Karimnagar seat from sitting Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar. In the battle, TRS had to fight former union minister Ch Vidyasagara Rao of the BJP as well. Balka Suman, who took an active part in the student movement for Telangana in Osmania University, won on TRS ticket from Peddapalle which is held by industrialist G Vivek.
Another big winner of the TRS was Kadiam Srihari, who won from Warangal with a massive majority of over 3.30 lakh votes. A former TDP minister, Srihari last year shifted to TRS.
The Congress faced a route in Telangana despite delivering the separate state, mostly due to lack of the initiative on the part of Congress leaders in consolidating the gains that accrued to the party after the division of the state.
The Congress could not put up much fight, as a result of which its Lok Sabha tally is limited to just two seats. That TRS could stand up to Narendra Modi’s wave was significant. TRS leader KT Rama Rao said: “If there was one leader and one party in the entire country with the strength to stand up to Narendra Modi’s wave, it was only KCR and TRS.”
Chandrasekhara Rao, aware of the fact that the BJP-TDP alliance might work because of Narendra Modi’s wave that was building in the country, took an anti-NDA stand, which appears to have paid off. Kicking off election campaign in Karimnagar, Chandrasekhara Rao said he would not join the NDA, come what may since he was more concerned about communal harmony. KCR had said and pointed out that he would rather join the Third Front than having to do anything with the BJP or the NDA.
What has helped the TRS win maximum number of MP seats is because of the sustained campaign by KCR in all the Telangana districts, where he reasoned with the voters on why they should support the TRS. He addressed on an average 10 public meetings covering various districts in Telangana and no leader has so extensively communicated with the voters in the region.
In fact, immediately after the Parliament gave nod for Telangana Bill, KCR indicated to kept his earlier word by merging his party with Congress. If that’s likely give life to TDP-BJP combination emerging as major opposition in Telangana, he indicated he will have alliance with Congress. However, according to reports, Congress leaders failed to give him assurance that he would be first chief minister of Telangana state. So, he decided to go alone.
In the TRS history, this is the first time that the party went to poll on its own and registered massive victory. KCR nephew and senior MLA T Harish Rao said “we proved to be correct by deciding to go alone. If we had alliance with the Congress we too would have washed away in anti-Congress wave that rocked the country. That would have given chance for TDP-BJP combine to emerge as a big player in the region”.
TRS TO FORM FIRST TELANGANA GOVT.
The TRS is now set to form the first government in the newly carved out Telangana state and its supreme leader K Chandrasekhar Rao will be the chief minister. Nowhere had in the country a party that led struggle for a separate statehood won in the elections after formation of the new state and formed the first government. It is for the first time in Independent India, being leader of a party that took birth with a single agenda of separate Telangana state, is now set to form the first government after the formation of the new state.’
With the high-pitched campaign by KCR has worked for the TRS with the party crossing the crucial half-way mark required for forming the government, leaving the Congress way behind, and without scope for machinations post-results. The TRS secured 63 out of the 119 seats at stake in Telangana.
Apart from a clean sweep of north Telangana districts, the TRS secured a good number of seats in districts of south Telangana such as Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda. Besides GHMC, Khammam was the only district where the regional party failed to make a big impact, winning just one seat.
Interestingly, the TDP-BJP combine fared as well as the Congress, which could not translate into electoral benefit its decision to carve out a separate state. With substantial gains in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Area and pockets of Telangana, the TDP-BJP combine notched up 20 seats, just one less than the Congress.
If several fresh faces put up by the TRS managed to emerge victorious, Congress bigwigs, including several ministers in the outgoing government, faced a humiliating defeat. TPCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former deputy chief minister D Raja Narasimha, former PCC president D Srinivas, former speaker KR Suresh Reddy, former ministers D Sridhar Babu, B Sudarshan Reddy, Danam Nagender and Mukesh Gowd were among those who had to bite the dust.
The Congress managed to win just two seats with a majority of sitting MPs tasting defeat, including such stalwarts as S Jaipal Reddy. The TDP, BJP, YSRC and MIM won one seat each. If the YSRC wrested the Khammam LS seat from the TDP, the latter picked up Malkajgiri held by the Congress.
Former union minister and BJP national vice president Bandaru Dattatreya has won from Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. The BJP bagged as many as five assembly seats in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area. The AIMIM succeeded in keeping up its hold over the old city by returning its lone Hyderabad Lok Saba seat by its president Assaduddin Owaisi, besides seven assembly seats.
By Ch Narendra from Hyderabad