Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: After a gap of 10 years, the Telugu Desam party, led by Chandrababu Naidu, is set to return to power in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, or Seemandhra, by crossing the absolute majority mark of 88 Assembly seats out of 175.
TDP bagged 50 Assembly seats so far and is leading in another 53 seats. It has won 1 Lok Sabha seat and is leading in another 16. BJP-TDP combined won 106 seats so far; secures majority followed by 67 for YSRC.
Out of 25 parliamentary seats, TDP-BJP union was leading with 18, followed by YSRCP with 7 and MIM gets 1.
Mr Naidu, a shrewd politician and a genius in political management, had planned TD’s victory by successfully tying up with the BJP, ensuring that his party rode the Modi wave.
His promises of converting Seemandhra into Singapore by showcasing his vast experience in developing Cyberabad during his earlier stint as chief minister, waiver of farmers’ crop loans, appointing a Kapu and a BC as Dy CMs, roping in popular actor Pawan Kalyan to campaign for the party, and promising one job for each family contributed to TD’s win.
Besides the above factors, Mr Naidu, who anticipated the complete rout of the Congress in Seemandhra, cleverly wooed several prominent Congress leaders who are considered to be strong in their respective constituencies, inducted them into the party fold and offered them tickets to take on the YSR Congress.
He also successfully converted the election campaign into a straight contest between the TD and the YSR Congress and directly asked the voters to choose between him and Jaganmohan Reddy, who is involved in several corruption cases, as the next chief minister of Seemandhra.
Naidu won Kuppam Assembly seat by over 50,000 votes, defeating nearest YSR Cong rival Chandramoulim while YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy won from Pulivendula Assembly segment with a thumping majority of 75 thousand votes. Pulivendula Assembly seat was previously held by his mother YS Vijayamma
Meanwhile, late Shobha Nagi Reddy became the first posthumously elected leader from Allagadda Assembly segment in Kurnool district with a huge majority of 47,000 votes. However, a re-poll is expected to be held after a few months to elect another leader. A wave of sympathy worked in her favour with her eldest daughter Akhila Priya and son Jagat Vikhyat Reddy campaigning for her after her death. Shobha Nagi Reddy's husband Bhuma Nagi Reddy also won from Nandyal Assembly segment.
TDP candidate from Bheemili Assembly seat in Visakhapatnam district Ganta Srinivasa Rao defeated his YSRCP rival Karri Seetharam, official sources said.
In Visakhapatnam West Assembly segment, TDP nominee Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu defeated his nearest rival and YSRCP candidate Vamsi Krishna.
Jai Samaikyandhra Party of former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appears to be a no-show, failing to take lead in any segment.
Congress seems to be heading for a humiliating defeat as none of its candidates was leading anywhere in Seemandhra.
Andhra PCC chief N Raghuveera Reddy lost to Telugu Desam candidate BK Parthsarathi from the Penukonda Assembly segment. He had shifted his constituency from Kalyandurg to Penukonda for these elections as part of a strategy but still couldn't avoid defeat.
Former Minister J Geeta Reddy became one of the few Congress ministers to safeguard their seats. She won with razor thin majority of 1100 votes in Zaheerabad Assembly segment.
Congress candidate and former Secunderabad MLA Jayasudha Kapoor lost her bid from the constituency as TRS opened its account in the city for the first time. TRS Secunderabad candidate T Padma Rao trumped Jayasudha Kapoor to win the seat.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and president Rajnath Singh congratulated Naidu on the TDP's spectacular performance in Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
Modi and Rajnath called Chandrababu over phone as trends indicated that the TDP was on the way to form the government in (new) Andhra Pradesh, by gaining lead in over 100 Assembly constituencies.
Chandrababu, in turn, congratulated Modi and Rajnath over the BJP and NDA's stupendous performance in the general elections.
Rajnath reportedly discussed with Chandrababu the current trends and the possible outcome in both the regions, TDP sources said.
TDP cadres burst into celebrations at Chandrababu's residence at Jubilee Hills. Naidu said NDA's victory showed that 'justice has won' and hailed Narendra Modi as the best choice for Prime Minister's post.
Speaking to reporters, after the initial poll trends showed NDA surging ahead, Naidu said, "Modi is the best choice for being the Prime Minister and now people have endorsed that. People are with us. BJP and TDP is a win-win combination."
Speaking further, he questioned the credentials of rival leaders in governance and administration.
"What Jagan has? What Rahul has? We are experienced. We have a track-record of administration. Nation has suffered because of corruption and lack of leadership in the last ten years. There was no governance. This is people's mandate and justice has won," Naidu said.
Naidu son Nara Lokesh thanked people for Telugu Desam’s big win in Seemandhra and also for the good show in Telangana.
“The credit goes to people and party cadre. People were impressed by TD’s welfare and development plank and voted the party to victory. Though some surveys were against us, people stood by us,” he said.
Lokesh also thanked Narendra Modi and actor turned politicians Pawan Kalyan for their support to Telugu Desam.
“Municipal and local bodies elections set the trend. People have bestowed confidence in Telugu Desam and in the leadership of Mr Chandrababu Naidu,” he added....