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TDP-BJP combine failed to see people's wrath

So definitive was peoples' anger against CM Naidu that even parties with no presence in the state like SP and BSP managed to score over TDP in state polls. A trend almost repeated in Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: May 17, 2004 18:08 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Three days after their crushing defeat in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are still trying to find out the reasons for people's wrath.

So strong was the anti-incumbency wave that people in some assembly constituencies voted for smaller parties like the Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that have no presence in the state but not to the TDP-BJP combine.

Taking advantage of this anti-incumbency wave, 11 independents were elected to the assembly. Eight of them were Congress party rebels while two had revolted against the TDP leadership on being denied a ticket.

The Samajwadi Party and the BSP opened their account in the state assembly by winning a seat each while the moribund Janata Party too bagged two seats in the 294-member house.

The TDP recorded its worst performance in assembly elections by winning a mere 47 seats, down from 180 in the 1999 elections while the BJP's tally came down from 12 to just two.

In terms of vote percentage in assembly elections, the swing against the TDP-BJP combine was 7.85 percent. The combine polled only 39.79 percent votes against 47.54 percent in 1999.

The TDP got 37.06 percent votes compared to 43.87 percent in 1999, resulting in a loss of 133 seats. The BJP polled 2.63 percent compared to 3.67 percent last time, leading to a loss of 10 seats.

What has surprised the poll analysts that the Congress' share actually declined compared to 1999 yet it stormed to power by increasing its tally from 91 to 185.

Since the Congress had left 60 seats for its allies Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), its individual vote share declined to 38.24 from 40.61 percent.

But the alliance's vote share was 48.37 per cent. This means that only a 4.43 percent swing away from the TDP-BJP went to the Congress and allies.

TRS, which had not contested the elections in 1999, won 26 seats polling 6.63 percent votes. CPI(M) improved its tally from two to nine with a vote share of 1.97 percent while CPI, which drew a blank in 1999, bagged six seats by polling 1.53 percent votes.

But the most interesting aspect was that the swing against TDP-BJP also benefited independents and smaller parties.

Eleven independents who were elected got 6.55 percent of the votes. A total of 870 independents were in the fray. In 1999, 762 independents contested and five of them were elected with 4.78 percent votes.

The BSP with 1.25 percent votes, the SP (0.27 percent) and the Janata Party (0.85 percent) also benefited.

MIM, which retained all four seats, polled 1.04 percent votes, a decline of 0.04 percent over 1999.

The TDP-BJP combine was humiliated in the Lok Sabha elections too. The TDP won five seats against 29 in last elections while the BJP drew a blank losing all seven seats it held in the dissolved Lok Sabha.

The alliance experienced a substantial 8.23 percent swing in vote share against it from 1999.

But only a part of this swing went to the Congress-led alliance, which gained 5.24 percent votes compared to the previous elections.

The independents together received 2.73 percent more votes while BSP got 1.4 percent votes. However, none of the 112 independents and 26 BSP candidates was elected.

The Congress bagged 29 seats against five it won in last elections. TRS got five seats while the CPI, CPI(M) and MIM got one seat each.