Andhra Pradesh

Early polls: parties gear up with strategies

It’s strategy time for all the political parties in the State to ensure maximum benefit in the coming polls which are rumoured to be held in December, 2018. The parties have already set targets. While the ruling party is aiming at winning 100% seats, the Opposition is confident of winning majority of seats.

Hinting the party on early polls, Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu said he wanted to win all the 175 seats. The party has scheduled a bunch of State-level workshops to implement the political, public and poll management strategy.

‘Countdown has begun’

Buoyed by the recent poll victories in the Nandyal Assembly and the Kakinada Municipal Corporation, the TDP is upbeat on bulldozing the Opposition in the elections. Sounding aggressive on the strategy at a party meet the other day, Mr. Naidu said, “I will study the result of four surveys before giving tickets to candidates. The aim is to ensure 100% win. The count down has begun, we may have to face polls in December, 2018.”

Focus on winning horses

Search for winning horses, focus on popularising the good work done by the party and exposing the dark side and failures of the Opposition seems to be the strategy of the ruling TDP. In a mind game to caution the leaders within the party and the ones in the Opposition, Mr. Naidu said, “Many leaders in the YSR Congress are in touch with us. We’ll allow the ones that are likely to contribute to our success.”

The Opposition YSR Congress party is also confident of a decent win. The party banks on the charisma of party president YS. Jagan Mohan Reddy, anti-incumbency vote and late YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s legacy. The party has hired political strategist Prashant Kishor for the purpose.

YSR legacy, padayatra

The party has launched ‘YSR Kutumbam’and other programmes to reach out to the vote bank. This aprt, Mr. Jagan is planning to go on a six-month padayatra from October 26.

Dubbing TDP’s victory in Nandyal and Kakinada a one-time exception, YSRCP spokesperson Ambati Rambabu attributes it to instant sops, money and false promises which cannot be repeated by the ruling party in the coming elections. “Mr. Naidu himself stated that the recent win is due to poll management. We will talk about YSR’s policies which will be taken forward once we win. In addition, going by our political meets across the State, Mr. Jagan is a great crowd puller. And there is a heavy anti-incumbency. As per our estimates, we will easily win over 100 seats,” Mr. Rambabu said.

Pawan’s approach

Popular actor and politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party, which is expected to fight polls for the first time, follows an innovative method to recruit workers through a written test. Speaking and presentation skills are the focus of the test which was attended by thousands across the State. While supporting the ruling TDP and BJP, the party believed in questioning the establishment in the State and the Centre on issues. It claims that it is aiming at clean politics.

Jana Sena’s contribution in bringing in researchers and doctors from Harvard to study the kidney patients’ misery in Uddanam in Srikakulam district was lauded by the public in general as an innovative step in fixing issues. Mr. Pawan Kalyan will be dedicating most of his time to active politics from coming October as per the party sources.

Steve Jarding strategy?

Besides surveys, Jana Sena is also understood to be looking at international expertise for poll strategy. Early this year, Mr. Pawan Kalyan met strategist Steve Jarding at Boston, U.S., and discussed poll strategies. Mr. Jarding is a lecturer at Harvard and an advisor for the Samajwadi Party in UP. The Congress party, which was washed out in the last polls, says the voting percentage will significantly increase in the coming polls. The party plans to highlight the corruption of the TDP government.

Lastly, the TDP’s alliance partner BJP is busy with appointment booth level cadre. Party-men are of the opinion that there needs to be an intensified effort to strengthen the party so that it can fight polls on its own. As of now, the party says, it will contest all the seats.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 5:20:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/early-polls-parties-gear-up-with-strategies/article19656628.ece

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