Visakhapatnam

AP@2019: An Assembly election outcome that defied all predictions

Praja Sankalpa Yatra, undertaken by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy before elections, had endeared him to the people.

Praja Sankalpa Yatra, undertaken by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy before elections, had endeared him to the people.  

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Jagan upsets TDP’s applecart with targeted attacks on Chandrababu Naidu

2019 was one of the significant years in recent times as it was said that the outcome of the elections would decide the fate of the State.

With three major players in the fray — N. Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP,-Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party and actor-turned politician Pawan Kalyans’s Jana Sena — it was a keenly watched contest.

The result came as a shock for Mr. Naidu, who was was routed by 46-year-old Jagan.

The YSRCP bagged a whopping 151 seats, almost reducing the TDP to a minority with just 23 seats in a House of 175.

Mr. Naidu was probably the first leader of a political party to be defeated both by father and son — Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Mr. Jagan.

Another unique feature of the Assembly election was that both the TDP and the YSRCP went it alone.

Mr. Naidu’s prediction that sops doled out during his rule, especially in the final phase would see him through, fell flat.

Welfare schemes and plans to build a ‘world-class capital city’ at Amaravati, also did not do fetch him the required votes.

His ploy to weaken Mr. Jagan by admitting 23 YSRCP MLAs into and providing Cabinet berth to four of them, also failed.

Mr. Naidu’s all-out attack on Mr. Jagan by repeatedly referring to the cases against the latter turned out to be counter productive, political experts say.

A game-changer

The YSRCP leader undertook a 3,648-km-long padayatra from his father’s native village Idupalapaya in Kadapa district to Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district. He completed the padayatra in 341 days, and during that period he focussed on his proposed welfare schemes, which he called ‘Navaratnalu’, and never missed an opportunity to level allegations of corruption in the TDP government.

While the BJP and the Congress were almost out of the reckoning, many felt that the JSP would stage an upset, but Mr. Pawan’s party came a cropper. Despite tying up with ‘like-minded parties’ and contesting almost all seats, the JSP could bag only one Assembly seat, and Mr. Pawan lost both the seats from where he contested (Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram). Experts feel that the JSP ate into the vote share of other parties, and the TDP was the worst-hit.

It was tough for the psephologists to predict the outcome. The results defied all predictions in what many termed the ‘Mother of all elections.’

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:45:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/assembly-election-outcome-defies-all-predictions/article30394299.ece

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