iconimg Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Prasad Nichenametla , Hindustan Times
Hyderabad, May 17, 2014
A few days ago, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao said that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) would be wiped out in both Telangana and Seemandhra. Many within the TDP too doubted if party chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s slogan of equal justice for the two regions would carry weight, especially in Telangana.

But as the trends became clear on Friday, the TDP emerged as the only party to have performed well on both sides of the divide.

Trends available at 4pm said TDP-BJP combine was leading in 115 of the total 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra, the halfway mark being 88. This means Naidu would be the first chief minister of the bifurcation-induced state. The YSR Congress Party was leading in 66 assembly seats.

In Telangana, the TRS was leading in 65 assembly seats — over the halfway mark of 60. Congress, which went public claiming to have given the statehood, was way behind at 20 while TDP+BJP was at 18. Telangana assembly has a maximum 119 seats.

HT had reported on March 10 — when the surveys were projecting Jaganmohan Reddy as the hero in Seemandhra —that Naidu was gaining fast on Jagan to become the first choice for rebuilding the new state that has been feeling betrayed by the UPA government.

On April 3, HT had also reported how Jagan had slipped from pole position —TDP’s campaign of his corruption cases, bail seen as a result of siding with the Congress, allegations of supporting division, leaders deserting his party — and how he was struggling to regain momentum.

One major factor that resulted in TDP’s win is the high voting percentage (79) in Seemandhra which means the educated, upper middle class people who favour Naidu came out in large numbers to vote.

Jagan’s core base consists of the poor, dalits, Reddys and Christians. But the TDP managed to consolidate the vote of all other sections prominently the BCs, Kammas, Kapus.

And the coming together of Naidu, BJP’s Narendra Modi and filmstar Pawan Kalyan at the last moment majorly boosted the party’s prospects. Most surprisingly, TDP did well in Telangana to the extent of becoming the main opposition, along with the BJP, in the new state’s assembly.

TDP’s victory march had virtually begun on Monday with the announcement of the municipal poll results that came as a major setback for YSRCP in Seemandhra and TRS in Telangana.

While TDP won most of the corporations and municipalities in the Seemandhra region, the Congress took the lead in Telangana, much ahead of the TRS. BJP prime minister candidate Narendra Modi was quick to react to the civic poll results, saying they were the curtain-raisers for the Lok Sabha poll results on Friday.