YSRC ahead of Opposition parties in run for mega elections

Vijayawada: With around 100 days left for the general elections, all political parties are gearing up for the big battle, but the ruling YSR Congress has stolen a march over its rivals vis-a-vis the candidate selection process.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as YSRC president is ahead of principal rival Telugu Desam, the Jana Sena, the BJP, the Congress and others by selecting likely nominees for 38 of the 175 assembly constituencies. But, the opposition parties are still doing the preliminary spadework for alliance formations, followed by candidate selections. Jagan Reddy has selected coordinators or potential nominees for a quarter of the assembly seats.

Year 2024 is spiced up on the political calendar in Andhra Pradesh with simultaneous polling in April for assembly and parliament.

The last general elections were held in 2019, which saw a humiliating defeat to Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam government and grabbing of power by the YSRC. After taking charge, Jagan Reddy's government focussed extensively on welfare schemes, but faced criticism for not giving enough weight to aspects of development.

The global financial system's disruption due to the Corona pandemic impacted AP too in tough ways but chief minister Jagan Reddy did not flinch from his commitment to continue with the welfare schemes during the two years of the unprecedented health crisis.

Notably, instead, the Jagan-led government attracted investment totaling '13 lakh crore. The government also continued with the development works and implementation of infrastructure projects.

The TD, BJP and Jana Sena had formed an alliance and contested the elections together in 2014, and registered a win. But in the 2019 elections, Chandrababu Naidu broke up the alliance and the three parties fought the polls separately, only to face a humiliating defeat at the hands of the YSRC. The BJP did not win any seat, the JS won one seat (the MLA went the YSRC way), and the TD got no more than 23 seats.

In this 2024 elections, YSRC is going it all alone. The JS allied with the TD unilaterally. JS chief Pawan Kalyan is working hard to bring the BJP too into the TD-led alliance.

Several coordination meetings were held for seat-sharing between the TD and JS, but no decision has been arrived at. The JS, it is learnt, is demanding 40-plus constituencies and five Lok Sabha constituencies for the fight, but the TD is ready to give it only 20 seats. Informed sources say the BJP might join the opposition alliance as a majority of the saffron leaders favour this. The BJP remains somewhat lifeless in AP.

Jagan Reddy announced two lists so far, carrying names of 38 leaders as constituency coordinators. The third list is under preparation and it might have names of 15 to 25 coordinators. The CM is planning to complete the exercise by Sankranti festival, so that these nominees will have sufficient time to organise the party’s campaigns in their respective segments.

Already several aspirants of the first and second lists started their election campaigns.

Political analysts say that Jagan Reddy is likely to change nearly 50 to 80 MLAs. Some 50 per cent of changes have already been done and the rest would be done in a day or two. The opposition parties expected a revolt in the form of several resignations in the YSRC, but they were disappointed. Very few have openly expressed their disappointment so far.

The analysts opined that Jagan Reddy has gained an upper hand in the candidate selections and this is Advantage YSRC in the 2024 elections.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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