Congress, post-PRP merger, lost 62 per cent of their combined vote of 2009

The numbers in the by-elections in Andhra Pradesh indicate massive shifts. In 2009, the Congress won 16 of the 18 Assembly seats that went to the polls on June 12 this year. Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) won the other two. Add up the votes of these two parties in 2009 and on paper they seem an invincible combine. The two got a total of over 16 lakh votes in the 18 seats. Their combined vote was higher than that of the next force (Telugu Desam Party) by over 40,000 votes, in some cases even by 50,000. And remember that the PRP subsequently merged in the Congress. Yet, this time, their merged force won just two of those seats and lost 62 per cent of their combined vote of 2009. The TDP did not win a single seat but fared better in retaining its core vote. It lost around 11 per cent compared to its 2009 performance. The Congress (post-PRP merger) came second in six seats, third in nine and fifth in one (Parakal in Telangana, a seat it won in 2009). The Congress lost deposit in four seats.

The YSR Congress obtained more votes than the Congress and the TDP combined in each of nine of the 18 seats. Those are: Polavaram (ST), Prathipadu (SC), Ongole, Rajampet, Kodur (SC), Rayachoti, Allagadda, Anantapur (Urban), and Parakal. Its total vote across the 18 seats (and in the lone Lok Sabha seat) is also higher than that of the Congress-TDP totals taken together. In Rayadurgam, the (self-declared) richest candidate ever to have filed an affidavit (TDP's Deepak Reddy, Rs. 6,800 crore) lost by over 32,000 votes. Even Tirupati, Chiranjeevi's own seat which he resigned in March this year to go to the Rajya Sabha, was lost to the YSRC by nearly 18,000 votes.

In Nellore, the Congress, which won the Lok Sabha seat there in 2009 by nearly 55,000 votes, lost to the YSRC by over 2.91 lakh votes in a huge shift. The YSRC, which won 15 Assembly seats, took seven by margins of over 30,000. Those are: Polavaram, Udayagiri, Rayadurgam, Kodur, Rajampet, Allagadda and Rayachoti. (The last by over 55.000 votes). It won a further three by more than over 20,000 votes: Ongole, Anantapur (Urban) and Yemmiganur. And took three by margins of over 15,000: Prathipadu, Macherla and Tirupati. The TDP came second in nine seats and third in the remaining nine. The party came third in the Nellore Lok Sabha seat.