Party leaders focus on preventing slippages in voting

Buoyancy in the party over ‘Modi wave’ influencing polling in the Seemandhra region notwithstanding, the Telugu Desam Party appears to be concerned about cross-voting in some constituencies that could adversely impact its candidates’ chances.

The party has by and large succeeded in overcoming the teething problems it faced following its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Seemandhra region.

But the TDP leaders are now concerned about ensuring effective transfer of vote between the two parties in constituencies like Rajahmundry.

Naidu holds talks with senior leaders

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu was closeted with senior leaders monitoring the situation and interacting with the candidates to ensure that there were no slippages in voting.

“There is no ambiguity about our nominee and film star M. Muralimohan. But there is likely to be cross-voting in the Assembly constituencies like Rajahmundry Urban from where the BJP has fielded its nominee,” a senior TDP leader told The Hindu.

The party leadership, it is learnt, is factoring in the influence of the “money and liquor” being distributed by the rival parties on voters. Senior leaders are unwilling to comment on the distribution of money and liquor outwardly.

But the seriousness with which the party is considering the issue can be gauged from the fact that Mr. Naidu addressed a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer seeking disqualification of candidates who are found guilty of the offence.

According to TDP sources, surveys commissioned by the party in the last couple of weeks gave encouraging reports about the alliance’s prospects after BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi gave assurance of standing by the side of the new State which would come into existence with a deficit budget and absence of infrastructure.

“One encouraging feature the surveys revealed is about the ongoing debate among people drawing comparison between Mr. Naidu and YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy. This will give us some leverage as both Mr. Naidu and Mr. Modi have approached the people with development agenda,” a TDP Rajya Sabha member said.

The Telugu Desam has, therefore, focussed attention on ensuring that there is no slippage in its traditional vote base in the region and capitalise on the perceived tilt in votes in favour of the TDP-BJP alliance in some constituencies.