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Congress retains power in A.P.

S. Nagesh Kumar

UPA wins 33 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats

HYDERABAD: Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is all set to become Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for a second consecutive term after he led the Congress to a comfortable majority in the Assembly and a spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha elections on Saturday.

Belying all predictions except Dr. Reddy’s own, the ruling Congress won 155 out of the 294 Assembly seats, besides delivering to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) a large contingent of 33 MPs from out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the State.

The results came as a severe setback to the Telugu Desam Party and its president N. Chandrababu Naidu, who had hoped to return to power riding on the back of the four-party grand alliance he forged with the aim of defeating the Congress.

Mr. Naidu, however, improved his party’s tally of Assembly seats from 47 in 2004 to 93 and MP seats from five to six. But the alliance as a whole was rejected as it was replete with contradictions.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) proved to be a drag on the alliance as it could win only 10 of the 48 Assembly seats it contested, while the CPI won four and the CPI (M) only one. The Left parties drew a blank in the four Lok Sabha constituencies they contested and the TRS could win just two.

Film star K. Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam also received a shock as it could win only 18 Assembly seats, while the party chief himself lost in the Palacole Assembly constituency though he won the Tirupati seat.

Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy called on Governor N.D. Tiwari at the Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government.

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