Congress won by default: Naidu

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Caught napping: TDP workers snatch their forty winks at the opening session of the party’s Mahanadu-2009 in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Caught napping: TDP workers snatch their forty winks at the opening session of the party’s Mahanadu-2009 in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

TDP president attributes defeat to split in anti-incumbency vote

Another reason was poor show by Grand Alliance partners, says Naidu

A sense of loss pervades the meet as delegates walk in and out

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday asserted that the Congress has won the recent elections by default and not by positive vote.

In his first elaborate reaction to verdict 2009, Mr. Naidu used his inaugural address at the party’s Mahanadu here to rubbish the Congress argument and reminded it that it had gained from the three-way split in the vote against it among Grand Alliance, Praja Rajyam and Lok Satta.

“If we had made little more effort in convincing people that such a split would help Congress, the situation would have been different,” he said while arguing that the two new parties ended up helping Congress with their vote shares of 16.22 per cent and 1.8 per cent eating into Telugu Desam vote.

The mood at Imperial Gardens, the venue of the Mahanadu, was not so enthusiastic though it was awash in yellow and the attendance good. A sense of loss pervaded the place. Delegates kept walking in and out even as Mr. Naidu spoke while groups of leaders were locked in discussion on what had gone wrong.

Mr. Naidu said the Congress seemed to gloat over 36.7 per cent vote it got, forgetting that 63 per cent of voters have voted against it. It was for the first time ever that a government was formed on such low vote percentage. The difference in vote share between Grand Alliance and Congress was a mere 1.75 per cent; yet while Congress lost 45 seats, the TDP gained as many. It only shows that people wanted TDP in the Assembly but the party missed the chance owing to split in anti-incumbency vote.

Another reason was poor show by Grand Alliance partners as they managed to win only 15 of the 73 seats they were allotted.

At the same time, the party accepted the verdict and would play the role of constructive Opposition both inside and outside the Assembly, he said.

He asked party men not to get disheartened by the results and continue to fight for the people’s causes. The party had the ability to overcome setbacks, as it has proved in the past.

Best scheme

Reposing his faith in Cash Transfer Scheme, he said it was the best scheme for poverty alleviation minus the usual leakages.

Almost all the senior leaders, some of them defeated in the election were present. Party general secretary, Kadiam Srihari, presented his report.



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