Hyderabad: An air of expectancy hovered over the Telugu Desam Party to possibly win power in (new) Andhra Pradesh following its spectacular performance in the elections to urban local bodies and panchayat raj institutions.
If trends that emerged out of recent elections to urban local bodies (ULB) and panchayat raj institutions (PRI) are an indication, the TDP, along with its ally BJP, is expected to put up a good show in the Lok Sabha polls as well.
The party that was relegated to the opposition in the last 10 years, and not even counted to return to power following the hype created over the new entrant YSR Congress, the TDP has now emerged as a “front-runner” in the general elections results of which would be announced tomorrow.
If TDP’s tally in ULBs and PRIs is taken as a benchmark, if any, it should comfortably bag close to 120 seats in the 175-member Assembly in the truncated state.
The YSRC that was supposed to have wrested power, given the hype created over the last three years, would actually be ending up a distant second with just about 45 seats.
That may translate into a sizeable number of parliamentary seats in equal proportion for the TDP-BJP combine.
Many “exit polls” pointed to the probability of TDP bagging power at the cost of the YSRC though the latter was given a higher tally than 45 Assembly seats. Both the TDP and the YSRC focused their energies only on (residual) Andhra Pradesh in the post-bifurcation scenario and fought neck-and-neck in the electoral battle.
Elections to ULBs and PRIs held between March 30 and April 7 were counted as the “semi-finals” before the general elections that became the “grand finals”.
The semi-finals only left the YSRC shocked as it failed to make a mark in both ULBs and PRIs even as the TDP made a clean sweep winning 65 municipalities out of 93 and nine out of 13 zilla parishads. The TDP also rode to power in five out of seven municipal corporations in the region.
The YSRC had to be content with only 17 municipalities, two municipal corporations and four zilla parishads.
The Congress drew a blank in zilla parishads and won a negligible 172 mandal parishad territorial constituencies (MPTC) out of the total 10,092.
The TDP bagged 5,216 MPTCs and the YSRC 4199. Rest were won by Left parties and independents.
For the YSRC, which banked heavily on the rural voters to decide its fortunes in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the drubbing in the PRI polls came as a severe setback.
But the party is trying to put on a brave face saying the general elections are a totally “different ball game” and it will certainly emerge as the game-changer on the 16th.
Tomorrow’s results will be the final nail in the Congress’ coffin in Andhra Pradesh as voters seemed to have laid it to rest.