ANDHRA PRADESH

Striking show by Congress in all regions

All smiles: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy being greeted by Jayasudha, Sabitha Indra Reddy at his residence in Hyderabad on Saturday. APCC chief D. Srinivas is also seen. -

All smiles: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy being greeted by Jayasudha, Sabitha Indra Reddy at his residence in Hyderabad on Saturday. APCC chief D. Srinivas is also seen. -   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: P. V. SIVAKUMAR



Contrary to expectations, Congress emerged victorious in

50 seats out

of the 119 in Telangana



HYDERABAD: Trashing the conjecture created over a hung Assembly, the ruling Congress retained power for the second consecutive term with a comfortable majority of 155 seats in the 294-member House.

The hype created over emergence of the Praja Rajyam as an alternative to the two principle contenders remained short-lived and the people obviously preferred continuance of the welfare schemes initiated by the Congress than cash transfer and free colour televisions offered by the Telugu Desam Party. The promise of separate Telangana by the Grand Alliance led by the TDP and social justice slogan of the PR failed to cut ice with the electorate as the Congress returned to power putting up an impressive show in all the three regions.

Contrary to expectations, Congress candidates emerged victorious in 50 seats out of the 119 in Telangana, 32 of the 52 in Rayalaseema and 72 of the 123 in coastal Andhra regions. While the TDP could improve its tally to 93 seats over 46 it secured in the previous elections, the TRS fell from its 26 seats in 2004 to mere 10 of the 44 seats it contested.

‘Dismal’ performance

The performance of the Left parties bordered on the ‘dismal’ as the CPI(M) could barely manage to win one seat and the other Left party CPI could win four against their previous tally of nine and six respectively. The result indicated a severe dent in the TDP vote bank because of the entry of the PR and the Lok Satta Party, the latter said to have significantly dented the TDP’s bank in the urban constituencies.

The perceived split in the vote on caste lines and the swing in fortunes expected with the addition of significant chunk of new voters did not stop the Congress from securing the required numbers.

The Congress gained considerable number of seats despite the prediction about the PR performance in several coastal districts like Srikakulam where it won nine out of 10, an equal number in Kadapa, 8 of 10 in Medak, 10 of 12 in Prakasam, 11 of 17 in Guntur and 10 out of 19 in East Godavari.

The party, however, suffered serious reverses in some districts of Telangana like Nizamabad and Adilabad where it secured one seat each while it was three seats in Karimnagar. AP Congress Committee president D. Srinivas, Assembly Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy and Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir lost to the TDP-TRS front that worked as a deadly combination.

But, hopes of an impressive show by the TDP-Left combine in the Communist bastions Nalgonda and Khammam went awry. The Congress could make significant inroads in the two districts despite losing a couple of Ministers Vanama Venkateswara Rao and Sambhani Chandrasekhar in Khammam.

The result reflected the predominant play of local factors like anti-incumbency against sitting members which was reaffirmed by the defeat of several senior leaders including a dozen Ministers in the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy cabinet as well as senior leaders like Y. Ramakrishnudu and Kodela Sivaprasada Rao of the TDP.

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