After an unpleasant show of greed for power, entering a deceitful alliance and atrocious exhibition of sycophancy, the oath-taking event of JD (S) supremo H.D. Kumaraswamy (with just 18% of total 222 seats in the Karnataka Assembly) has sounded a tsunami alert in the Indian democracy. H.D. Kumaraswamy’s coup like capture of power in Karnataka and his thanks-giving gesture to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, (shunning the popular mandate of Kannadigas granted to BJP) has heralded a mean chapter in the Indian democracy.
This grave situation can only be reversed with an overwhelming mandate to BJP and Narendra Modi by the people in 2019. Here is a frank but candidly drawn prognosis for the BJP as for the state of Andhra Pradesh is concerned.
The erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two states, carving out a separate Telangana state on 2nd June 2014. This was preceded by fresh elections conducted both for two State Assemblies as well as Parliament seats in April and May 2014. The TDP Party Supremo Mr Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh region and TRS Supremo Mr K Chandrasekhar Rao in newly formed Telangana State emerged victorious, respectively.
As the incumbent governing political parties in both these states, these two are poles apart in not just their ideology but also in vernacular affiliation and lingo. The proposed perception study needs to be undertaken separately for the two states. In one hand, the regional Telanganite pride feeling in Telangana state is still fresh and pondering whereas in Andhra Pradesh, its counterpart ‘Andhraite’ feeling is redundant as the Andhra Pradesh still remains the same, except the fact that it lost a large chunk of its original part.
This study consists of four factors –
1) The towering figure Chandrababu Naidu and his affiliation with the people of Andhra Pradesh coupled with anti-centre feeling
2) Low level of anti-incumbency sentiment among the people
3) ‘caste’ based strategy
4) The enchanting wave of PM Narendra Modi, in assessing the voter’s mood in 2019.
Hence this study is now confined to ‘Andhra Pradesh’ state, excluding the Telangana State.
Andhra Pradesh has 25 Parliamentary Constituencies
constituency no. constituency name
27 Eluru None
Respective party standings after the 2019 elections are listed below :-
TDP (Telugu Desam Party) 15
BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) 2
YSRCP (Yuvajana Raithu Sramika Party)8
Total – 25
An important aspect to be kept in mind about the 16th Lok Sabha elections in 2014 held in Andhra Pradesh is that the state was bifurcated and the new State of Telangana was formed on 2nd June 2014, though the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 was attested by the President of India on 1st March 2014. Hence all the available statistics of the Lok Sabha election of 2014 in respect of AP on ECI website represent the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The BJP contested in four constituencies where the TDP did not field its candidates as part of its understanding with the BJP.
The BJP contested for 4 Lok sabha seats in the 2014 General Elections -Visakhapatnam, Narsapur, Tirupati, and Rajampet. The BJP won in two constituencies, i.e Vishakhapatnam (K Haribabu) and Narsapuram (Gokaraju Ganga Raju). In the remaining two constituencies BJP lost to YSRCP Party.
The scenario would be completely altered in 2019 for the BJP, as the NDA ally TDP is no more an ally and a partner in the NDA. Going by the vote share of YSRCP in 2014, Mr Jagan would be a strong force to be reckoned with. Since the BJP has decided to go alone in AP, the YSRCP would pose a formidable challenge to both TDP and the BJP. The BJP should present itself as a third force in the state and only then the thrill of a triangular contest can be expected. The advantage in a triangular contest would always be the third force gaining due to split in votes. This will be a rare scenario for the BJP, though BJP should contest in all 25 seats. This is important for two reasons, firstly this will ensure Amit Shah’s grand plan of ‘sampark for samarthan’ programme. Secondly the presence of the ‘lotus’ symbol on EVM’s is essential to imprint on voters mind, irrespective of its outcome in doubtful constituencies too.
Another aspect to be noted is the Congress Party had been totally decimated in 2014 elections. Hence, only TDP and YSRCP are two major political parties in 2014. The Congress party’s vote share was between 1% to 3% and in one or two seats touched 10%.
Another major drawback is since the BJP had contested only in 4 constituencies, remaining 21 constituencies went without the BJP presence, so it is difficult to asses the people’s fondness for the BJP in these 21 constituencies, which constitute 85% of the total seats. The catch point is, the BJP despite the alliance with the TDP could contest only in 4 seats and managed to win only two. Hence in 2019, going alone and grabbing 2 seats is not a tough job at all if a proper strategy is in place.
Let us analyse these 4 constituencies where BJP contested in 2014 and its prospects in 2019.
former BJP state president Mr Haribabu won this seat securing 48.71% vote share. YSRCP stood second with 40.94%. This time BJP has to face two opposition on 2 fronts, first is TDP and the other one being YSRCP. So, it will be a tough triangular contest for the BJP. The BJP’s chances this time will depend on the candidate the party chooses. Mr Haribabu a Kamma by caste and close friend of CM Chandrababu was asked to step down from the party president’s post last month. The BJP has to choose a popular Kapu leader for this seat for a sure shot win.
Gokaraju Ganga Raju of BJP was elected from this constituency with 5,40,306 votes polled over his rival YSRCP which came second with 4,54,955 votes. Gokaraju Ganga Raju is an Industrialist, a Cricket enthusiast and a Swayamsevak too. His goodwill among the voters in the constituency is indisputable and it would be ideal to field him once again to secure this seat.
The BJP candidate from Tirupati Mr Karumanchi Jayaram who lost to YSRCP candidate by a margin of over 40,000 has quit the BJP last month and joined the TDP. This is indeed a setback to the BJP, as Tirupathi is a prestigious seat for any national party. Before quitting, Jayaram undertook an extensive survey in the constituency to sense the pulse of the people and decided to quit the BJP in the backdrop of the strained TDP-BJP relationship. Now Tirupati seat might pose a challenge to the party in terms of picking up the right candidate.
Mrs D.Purandeswari, former Minister and daughter of Late N.T.Rama Rao, contested in 2014 from Rajampet but lost to YSRCP candidate by a margin of over 1,74,000 votes. Yet Purandhareswari is the apt choice for Bharatiya Janata Party for Rajampet again in 2019 as she is very articulate, hard-working and also known as Sushma Swaraj of the South. Her name was too considered for state chief’s post last month before Kanna Lakshminarayana was appointed as BJP President of AP State unit.
Social Engineering is here to stay in Andhra Pradesh. Caste card will play very vital in the Andhra Pradesh elections.
Kamma, Kapu and Reddy cast orientation has become an inevitable feature for BJP in Andhra Pradesh. With 27% of share in total population, the Kapu community is going to play a vital role in the coming elections. The other equally powerful community i.e Kamma, which previously ruled the state, held the reign in powerful sectors, though they are only next to the Kapu community in numbers. The power tussle within the state, the BJP for the post of the President has openly drawn party leaders like Kanna Lakshminarayana, Somu Veerraju, P Manikyala Rao, Smt. Purandhareswari as strong contenders. Finally, Sri Kanna Lakshminarayana was chosen for the post. With this decision, the party’s objective was clear that the long-pending grouse of Kapu community will be addressed in a mutually beneficial form. This approach of the party might yield a good result.
When BJP is shaping the Kapu community alliance, rival CM Chandrababu Naidu too has increased the number of Kapu leaders into his Ministry. Yet, BJP is making inroads in a big way, as Bharatiya Janata Party being a new entrant and under the brand image of PM Modi, is going to change the political face of Andhra Pradesh in 2019.
Pawan Kalyan Jana Sena party
It is interesting to see how Jana Sena Party of Pawan Kalyan will place itself in the clash of Titans? As Pawan Kalyan announced that his party will be contesting all the 175 Assembly seats, its impact will be limited to splitting YSRCP votes. After the announcement of BJP going alone in Andhra Pradesh, the Jana Sena may have to reconsider its decision to go alone.
New prospective constituencies for BJP under the changed scenario.
East Godavari, West Godavari, Eluru, Kakinada and South Andhra Pradesh are the Kapu dominant areas. BJP chances seem to be promising here and also based on some factors of 2014 results, Guntur, Vijayawada, Bapatla, Ongole, Narasaraopet were very conducive to BJP victory, in view of its proposed social engineering strategy.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ram Madhav’s Tripura kind of strategy will work.
Many former Union Ministers of BJP/NDA regime like Daggubati Purandeswari, former MP Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao will be adding enthusiasm to the BJP. Once the groundwork is done, Modi’s swirling visit will further boost the mood of the people in the hope of India’s nationalist grand party making an entry for a new good governance, replacing old stoic politicians and political icons. With this grand strategy, the BJP is all set to enter Andhra Pradesh in a grand order well-armed with corruption charges and misrule against Naidu, like the TTD expose, pension scams, project fundings misuse, misuse and diversion of centre’s funds , to take on Naidu head-on, exploiting the anti-incumbency wave.
So our final tally for Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha is between 10-13 of 25.