Exceeding predictions given by exit polls, the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) stormed to power in Andhra Pradesh, with the outfit winning close to 151 of the total 175 assembly seats and a whopping 22 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, nearly demolishing the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which was in power.
The new entrant Jana Sena Party (JSP), led by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, hardened the blow for the N. Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP by splitting crucial votes in many assembly seats, especially where the winning margins were less, which could have perhaps given the TDP much more than the 24 assembly seats. Kalyan, who contested from the Gajuwaka and Bheemaravam seats, lost from both the seats.
Addressing the public on Thursday evening at his residence at Tadepalli in the Amaravati capital region area, Reddy announced that he will be sworn in as the chief minister of AP on 30 May. He thanked the public for supporting him. It may be recalled that the YSRCP’s entire campaign was taken care by the Indian Political Action Committee.
Out of all the 25 Lok Sabha seats, only the Guntur seat could be salvaged by candidate and sitting MP Galla Jaydev. The results will make the TDP rethink about its future hard, as the party was expecting a tough competition, and not such a clean sweep by Jagan Mohan Reddy. In many of the 175 assembly constituencies, the JSP managed to win anything between 3,000 to 30,000 plus votes, giving YSRCP candidates the edge and allowing them to win easily, especially in close competitions.
It may be recalled that in the 2014 polls, Kalyan had supported the TDP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance, which had won the polls. Analysts believe that Kalyan then managed to give the TDP crucial support from the Kapu community, which he belongs to. The TDP had won 102 seats, BJP 4 and the YSRCP 67 in 2014. JSP then did not contest the elections.
Data from the Election Commission of India showed that the YSRCP managed to get nearly 50% of the vote share, while the TDP got nearly 40% this time.
“In 2014 there were two parties in AP; the TDP and YSRCP. Now there is only the YSRCP. There is nothing Naidu can do now. I have a feeling his political career is over and the first family of TDP has to think about the party’s future, as Lokesh is not yet ready to take things forward on his own. People need to go back to the drawing board with fresh ideas," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.