Cong continues to wither in Andhra as NOTA secures more votes in 2019 elections2 min read . Updated: 27 May 2019, 05:53 PM IST
- The chief minister designate Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP won a staggering 151 seats out of the total 175 assembly seats
- According to EC data, Congress polled a mere 1.29% against NOTA’s 1.49% in the Lok Sabha seats
HYDERABAD : Five years since voters in Andhra Pradesh (AP) turned against the Congress party they held responsible for the division of the state, the party continues to wallow in irrelevance, with its vote share declining even below the none of the above (NOTA) option in recent elections.
According to Election Commission data, the Congress polled a mere 1.17% votes in AP against NOTA’s 1.28% in the assembly seats, and 1.29% against NOTA’s 1.49% in the Lok Sabha seats. While the Congress’ loss in 2014 was attributed to public anger against AP’s bifurcation, this time a resurgent YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) took away whatever little chance it had to gain momentum in the state.
Led by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the YSRCP won a staggering 151 seats out of the total 175 assembly seats and 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), led by former AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, managed to win 23 assembly and three parliamentary seats. New entrant Jana Sena Party (JSP), led by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, won just one assembly seat, but secured deposits in about 30 others, which analysts believe impacted the TDP.
Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) vice-president Tulasi Reddy, however, attributed his party’s loss to alleged money distribution by the TDP and YSRCP.
“Voters across AP were given ₹1,000 and even as much as ₹10,000 in some of the seats. People of AP are not angry at Congress anymore for bifurcation, and there was a polarization of votes due to money distribution. JSP also did not get deposits in many seat because of polarization of votes between those two parties," he added.
The Congress had last won elections in united AP in 2009 under former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who is Jagan Mohan Reddy’s father. After the former died in a helicopter crash in the same year, his son, who was also in the Congress, quit and formed YSRCP in 2011.
Following the Congress government’s decision to split the two Telugu-speaking states, many of its leaders from AP deserted it at the last minute and joined the YSRCP, resulting in a catastrophe for the grand old party in the 2014 polls.
“In the current scenario, the chances of Congress bouncing back in AP is nearly zero. It lost in a big way again on a national level.
Jagan’s YSRCP is a replica of the Congress in terms of philosophy and being anti-TDP, apart from running on secular lines. The Reddy community used to dominate the grand old party and now it is with the YSRCP. These are troubling times for the Congress, and the only saving grace is that it won three Lok Sabha seats between the two Telugu states (as people still see them as one)," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.