VIJAYAWADA: In a humiliating defeat, 90 per cent Telugu Desam-backed candidates lost elections in Gram Panchayats falling in Kuppam Assembly constituency represented by the party supremo and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Kuppam is such a stronghold for Chandrababu Naidu that he has won for seven consecutive terms since 1989. Even in the last gram panchayat polls held in 2013, the TD-backed candidates won in 81 panchayats out of 93. The situation, however, was reversed on Wednesday when these village bodies went for polls in the third phase.
Till the last reports came in the ruling YSR Congress-backed candidates won in 74 panchayats out of 89 where the polls were held. The TD supporters won in 14 panchayats only. The counting is still on in one panchayat where also the YSRC supporter has been leading with more than 300 votes.
The jubilant ruling party leaders attributed the TD’s rout in the ongoing local body polls including those falling in Kuppam to the success of welfare initiatives launched by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The TD and its chief Chandrababu Naidu's plunge into obscurity seem to have come to a logical conclusion with the former CM failing to secure his bastion. ‘Time has come for Chandrababu Naidu to move out of Kuppam in search of a safe seat. But the question may arise where he will have to go,’ said Agriculture Minister K Kannababu reacting to the TD’s rout in Kuppam and the ruling party bagging more than 80 per cent panchayats across the State so far.
The welfare schemes have been changing the lives of poor who have been expressing their strong desire to further strengthen the Chief Minister, he added.
Botsa Satyanarayana, Municipal Minister said results were endorsement of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s leadership and reflection of successful delivery of the schemes to all sections of people.
YSRC MLA Malladi Vishnu said people of Kuppam were vexed with Naidu for neglecting development which Jagan government undertook in an unprecedented manner though it is represented by the opposition leader.