Chandrababu Naidu’s Multi-Pronged Strategy To Divide YSRCP Voter Base

Chandrababu Naidu’s Multi-Pronged Strategy To Divide YSRCP Voter Base - Sakshi Post

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu knows that he is fighting the most difficult election of his life. It may also prove to be his last as things appear to be shaping. Driven by desperation, rattled by the growing popularity of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu is at his wit's end.

The TDP supremo’s electoral strategy is clear. He is attempting to divide the powerful YSRCP voter base across the state and has roped in as many as five entities to try to achieve his objective. Who are they? Chandrababu's secret pact with Jana Sena is not much of a secret any more. The Jana Sena-BSP alliance and its tie-ups with the Left parties are also said to have been scripted by the TDP chief. The Left parties enjoy some goodwill in small pockets of the state and the TDP, hit by anti-incumbency is trying to stem the tide flowing towards the YSRCP. Chandrababu's elaborate electoral conspiracy is to split the vote share of the YSRCP, to boost the TDP's chances.

Chandrababu has wizened up from his experience in the Telangana polls and this time around, has gone in for a clandestine deal with Congress, though there is nothing hidden about this, it appears. Again, though the Congress has no presence in the state, Chandrababu is using the party to split the YSRCP vote. Lastly, in using KA Paul, the evangelist to create confusion in the minds of voters, the TDP supremo is resorting to desperate measures to drive some Dalit/Christian votes towards him, which he reckons will help TDP, political observers say.

What is the TDP-Jana Sena secret pact all about?

Pawan Kalyan, founder of Jana Sena flew hammer and tongs at Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh some months ago. However, over the last few weeks, he fell silent. His silence was not entirely inexplicable. It became apparent that he had a secret understanding with Chandrababu Naidu to try and attract BC and Kapu voters opposed to TDP. In particular, both Chandrababu and his partner Pawan Kalyan are focusing on the twin Godavari Districts which have a sizable Kapu population. While Chandrababu reckons that any vote share which goes in the direction of the Jana Sena Party would be to the advantage of the ruling TDP, it remains to be seen as to what extent this would actually bear fruit on the ground on April 11.

Some of the Kapu heavyweights in TDP like Nimmakayala Chinnarajappa, the deputy Chief Minister, have lost their sheen and have yielded a lot of electoral space to the YSRCP, whose Thota Vani has gained a lot of ground in recent days. The Opposition party led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made inroads with BC leaders like Margani Bharat, among others. The other important factor is the influence that Kapu Leader, Mudragada Padmanabham wields. The veteran Kapu leader holds sway across the region in all the assembly segments of both the Godavari districts. He is a major factor when it comes to the Kapu vote with regard to the Kakinada Lok Sabha seat.

Chandrababu aims to woo some of Padmanabham’s followers away to the Pawan Kalyan camp, but the reality here is that the veteran Kapu leader has a very dedicated base of followers, most of whom are unhappy with the TDP. The ruling party's not-so-secret pact with the Jana Sena has not gone down well with people here, locals say. Moreover, the highhandedness of the police at the time of the Kapu reservation agitation and the Tuni incident in which they were needlessly blamed, is fresh in the minds of Padmanabham's followers. The Kapus also haven’t yet come to terms with the humiliation that Padmanabham, his family members and other Kapu leaders suffered at that time.

Again, it was Chandrababu Naidu who made sure that Pawan Kalyan‘s outfit had a tie-up in AP, with BSP led by Mayawati at the national level. In this case, Chandrababu Naidu’s strategy is to drive some Dalit votes which would inevitably come YSR Congress party’s way, towards JSP.

How does the Congress party fit into the entire equation?

The Congress was completely decimated in 2014 after bifurcation of the state. Chandrababu reckons that minority and Reddy votes would go the Congress way to some extent. Putting up candidates from minority groups in YSRCP strongholds is a part of this strategy, it is being said. The names of MLA candidates, J. Wilson from Kurnool and Shaik Faiyaz from Nellore City. The Congress has reduced itself to playing second fiddle to TDP, aware that it has no role to play in AP. Sadly, it is trying to concede political space to TDP, which is a plan that will only boomerang. The Congress does have small pockets of influence, but these were carefully nurtured by Congress leaders, most importantly by Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Therefore, in spite of Chandrababu's many electoral conspiracies, YS Jagan will prove to be Dr. YSR's political legacy .

The Role Of KA Paul In TDP Game

KA Paul is yet another dark horse which Chandrababu is betting on to split the anti TDP vote. Chandrababu, in the case of KA Paul as well seems to reckon that a slight dent in the Christian, Dalit vote in many parts of the state will be to the advantage of the ruling TDP. It is widely speculated that Paul is totally funded by Chandrababu. Interestingly, it is the TDP supremo's direction analysts say, under which the evangelist has chosen colours for his party which are identical to those of the YSRCP. To add to the confusion, KA Paul’s electoral symbol, helicopter, which bears a similarity to the YSRCP fan.

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