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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Setback for TRS, YSR Cong in Andhra municipal elections

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, May 12, 2014
First Published: 17:36 IST(12/5/2014) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(13/5/2014)

The municipal poll results across united Andhra Pradesh came as a big setback on Monday for the YSR Congress Party in Seemandhra and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Telangana.

Four days before the counting of the assembly and Parliament votes, the civic body poll results brought a big cheer to the Telugu Desam Party in Seemandhra and gave hope to the Congress in Telangana. The TDP won most of the corporations and municipalities in the Seemandhra region, while the Congress was leading in Telangana, much ahead of the TRS. The more indicative rural body (Mandal and Zilla Parishad) results will be out on Tuesday.

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.

As exit polls are banned in the state till Tuesday evening following an Election Commission order of re-poll in 29 polling stations spread over 10 districts, the people are considering the civic body poll results as indications of what is likely to come.

But the results were unexpected for both TRS and YSR Congress. The former was hoping to cash in on the euphoria over creation of Telangana. The latter was banking on anti-bifurcation sentiments across Seemandhra comprising Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

Of the seven municipal corporations that went to polls in Seemandhra on March 30, the TDP won in five (Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Chittoor, Anantapur) and YSRCP in two – Kadapa and Nellore. The results in three Telangana civic bodies – Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Ramagundam – were hung.

Of the 145 municipalities, the TDP won 65 (including three in Telangana), Congress 21 (all in Telangana), YSRCP 19 (all in Seemandhra) and TRS 8 (in Telangana). The remaining 32 municipalities were either hung or smaller parties and independents. 

YSRCP, which took a Samaikhyandhra stand and miffed voters in Telangana, was washed out in the region while TDP, which walked the middle path on the issue, won a respectable number out of 161 wards there. In Seemandhra, as expected, the Congress lost its face.

If this trend shows in the assembly results, TDP could easily ride to power in Seemandhra and the Congress with some effort in Telangana. The parties hope the rural body polls (held in the first half of April) yield similar or better results on Tuesday.

The TDP did well in the Panchayat polls held in July last year.


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