Saturday, April 13, 2024

50 seats already in YSRCP’s kitty

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By B Krishna Prasad

With the finalisation of almost all the candidates by the ruling YSRC party and the Telugu Desam Party-led opposition alliance, the political landscape in Andhra Pradesh seems to be in favour of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s party. Interestingly, YSRCP already has in its kitty 50-odd seats, if we consider the relative strengths of the contesting candidates.
In the 175-seat AP Assembly, 29 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 7 for the Scheduled Tribes, with the reserved seats totaling 36. In these 36 seats, YSRCP candidates look formidable when compared to their rivals.
As per The Pioneer’s ground survey, out of these 36 seats, the YSRCP is in a very strong position in 30 seats. In spite of intensive campaign by rivals, they seem to be unbeatable. So, out of the 36 reserved seats, the YSRCP is likely to win at least 30 seats!
Similarly, there are 20-plus Assembly seats where Muslim voters are nearly one lakh or more. Ground reports from these 20 seats indicate clear edge for YSRCP. The Muslim population in Andhra Pradesh is 80.82 lakhs (9.56 per cent) of the total 8.46 crore as per the 2021 Census. Muslims, spread over 50 to 60 Assembly segments across the state with nearly 10 per cent vote share, are crucial for both YSRCP and TDP-JSP-BJP alliance. A major chunk of Muslims, considered a close-knit community with an en bloc voting behaviour, completely sided with Jagan in 2014 and 2019. Jagan’s father and former chief minister late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy endeared himself to Muslims by providing 4 per cent reservations for them in education and jobs. This had immensely helped the YSRCP to garner the support of Muslims.
Naidu’s alliance with the BJP in 2014 was the reason for YSRCP’s win in many Muslim-dominated Assembly constituencies, while Naidu’s TDP could win that election with the support of BCs. The scene changed in 2019 when large groups of BCs turned against TDP to give YSRCP a record-breaking 151 seats in the 175-seat Assembly. Four Muslim candidates got elected on YSRCP ticket in 2019. They are Abdul Hafeez Khan (Kurnool), Shaik Amjad Basha (Kadapa), Nawaz Basha (Madanapalle) and Mohammed Mustafa (Guntur East).
In this backdrop, ground reports indicate that Jagan’s YSRCP has already gained 50-plus seats and needs only 38 more seats to retain power in the state.
Then it comes to TDP-JSP-BJP alliance, nothing is going in the anticipated way. There is widespread discontent among the three parties and all three parties are unhappy over seat sharing. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan played a key role in cementing the alliance, but ended up with 21 seats less than what his party and cadre had expected. Similarly, many bigwigs of BJP could not get tickets due to pressures in the alliance. This has left the party cadre in disarray.
After the announcement of tickets, based on the candidates’ strength, nearly 30 seats in north coastal, Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts are in favour of the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance.
While undivided Guntur district is fully supporting the opposition alliance, Krishna, Godavari, Visakhapatnam districts are giving slight edge to TDP-JSP-BJP group. While Prakasam, Nellore districts are evenly poised, Rayalaseema region is still strongly behind YSRCP. Except Ananthapur, remaining districts are set to give good numbers to YSRCP this time too. In Ananthapur, TDP is likely to spring some surprises, while in undivided Chittoor district, the Opposition set to receive major setbacks.
Vote transfer between TDP-JSP appears limited to Godavari districts, while in all other districts, the differences between leaders belong to two parties are yet to be resolved. With BJP joining the alliance, the Opposition has lost minority vote-bank in total.
Elections are happening after the announcement regarding notification of amendments to rules under CAA, and there is a clear indication that the minorities are set to vote en bloc.
As per the analysis, results in 90 seats are clear, in which majority are going in favour of YSRCP and keen contest is witnessed in 85 seats. Whoever gets 88 seats will form the next government in June.

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