Party feels 46 per cent BC voters in Seemandhra will tilt the scales in their favour.
As the campaign for the upcoming elections to Lok Sabha and Assembly in Seemandhra region gathers momentum, the Telugu Desam Party has intensified its efforts to woo the Backward Classes (BCs) and weaker sections to the party fold by promising a series of welfare schemes for them.
Poll managers of the TDP feel that BCs, constituting a major chunk of 46 per cent, including sections of Kapu community of north coastal Andhra, will be the deciding factor in the elections. Analysts engaged by the TDP had come to a preliminary estimation of the caste combinations that could work in its favour and against the party in its bid to take on Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress in Seemandhra.
According to tentative calculations, the YSRC is certain to get the support of the Reddys, constituting about 3 per cent in Seemandhra, Malas (10 per cent) and Muslims (6 per cent). This is in addition to the Scheduled Tribes’ vote forming 6 per cent, but this loss is expected to be covered with the middle class votes prominently from Brahmin/Vysya and other forward caste communities (7 per cent) that are looking for an alternative to the Congress and the YSRC.
“The 7 per cent vote will be a certainty if an alliance with the BJP takes shape at the earliest,” an analyst engaged in the process said. The party is sure of the vote of Kammas constituting 6 per cent and Madigas forming more or less the same number.
Initially, it was felt that traditional Kapus constituting 9 per cent would support the YSRC and the sub-sects given BC status in north coastal Andhra would support the TDP. “But the equation has undergone a significant change after actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan launched his Jana Sena. Efforts are under way to convince the new outfit to join forces with the TDP as it could be a game changer,” the analyst said.
Given this background, the votes of BCs and weaker sections are set to be the deciding factor and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu has, therefore, focussed attention on attracting these sections that will make the contest one-sided.
According to TDP sources, surveys conducted by the party had shown an edge to the TDP over the rival party. “But the contest will be one-sided if we manage to get the larger chunk of the BC votes,” was how a leader remarked.