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Tough task ahead for YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party, the YSRCP
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu recently called upon the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) cadre to get ready for early elections.

The main opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress is also gearing up for early polls. YSR Congress Party President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is currently touring the state in the name of 'Praja Sankalpa Yatra' which was kicked off on November 6, 2017, and is expected to cover 3000 km.

But how the YSR Congress Party lost with a narrow margin of 2.6 per cent votes in the last elections has turned into a hot topic for people.

Though the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won 102 seats in 2014 Assembly polls and came to power, the YSRCP too gave a stiff fight to the TDP. While the former secured 133,72,862 votes (46.3 per cent) and won 102 seats, the later got 127,71,323 votes (44.7 per cent) and won 67 seats. The TDP got only 2.06 per cent more votes than the YSRCP but it was enough for the party to win 35 more Assembly seats and come to power. YSRCP lost 26 seats with a narrow difference of 100 to 5000 votes which clearly shows that the TDP managed to usurp power merely because of its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It must be said that the YSRCP lost a golden opportunity by going alone in the elections when the situation demanded otherwise.

Next polls

It is a foregone conclusion that the TDP and BJP will jointly go to the polls because there is a good rapport between Chandrababu Naidu and BJP'snational leadership. Although some of the BJP state leaders aresuggesting to fight the elections alone, ground realities in the state indicate an altogether different arithmetic. In the future tie up between the two parties, there is a possibility of the BJP contesting on more seats this time. YSRCP, in the past, had contested on its own as seats adjustment talks with the Leftists failed at the last minute.

The main reasons for Jagan'sdefeat in 2014 elections were lack of political experience, obstinacy and overconfidence. But the present situation is very different and some aspects are more favourable for him, according to political analyst PV Babu.

During the last elections, he had said, "The YSRCP legislators too like its rival party spent crores of rupees but that amount did not reach the right persons. If that amount had been properly utilized, the YSRCP could have secured more votes in that elections."

"After assembly elections some popular leaders left the party. In the districts like Krishna Jagan appointed some leaders, as party in charges, who don't have peoples support. Party activities are stalled in those places as cadre not supporting these leaders," he added further.

Hostility towards Chandrababu Naidu

If we go by the opinion of political analyst Srinivasa Rao, people are not happy with the TDP government and if this dissatisfaction in the public could be effectively targeted by the YSRCP in the poll campaign, Jagan's winning chances could improve. Rayalaseema and North Andhra people are unhappy because they feel that the entire development was concentrated around the state capital Amaravathi. Rayalaseema seems Reddy's hold as that the kammas of coastal Andhra Pradesh dominate all sectors. Srinivasa Rao also cites this as the main reason for affluent sections of north Andhra and Rayalaseema not buying even a cent of land in Amaravathi. If Jagan eyes on the two areas, his winning prospects will improve, Rao observes.

Poll bind offs needed

Sociologist and political analyst Prof Subrahmanyam says that Jagan needs to give an assurance to the people in general and the middle class in particular that he is capable of providing exemplary administration if he comes to power. In the previous elections he was overconfident about his victory even without saddling with any other party, but his calculations did not work out, he adds. Offering a piece of advice, he points that it would be better for him if he seeks a bind off with the Leftists in the ensuing elections, because the last experiment showed that there was only 2 to 3 per cent difference between the ruling and the contending parties.

According to Subrahmanyan's guess, the Telugu Desam Party for its poll success may seek the support of Jana Sena leader Pavan Kalyan as kapu votes would be vital. To counter this, Jagan is well advised to take the help of kapu stalwart Mudragada Padmanabham. He advises Jagan that he can form a team of seniors to check the outgoing leaders, to woo those from other parties and to make consultations with different groups to strengthen the party. There are numerous instances where team decisions have excelled unilateral ones, he said.

'Self change' needed for a good turn

Psychologist (mind analyst) Dr Rajendra while interacting with the author said that the poor and the middle classes still patronize Jagan as the son of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, but he needs to create his own image.

For this, Jagan is well advised to change his intonation, gestures and his attire. He recalls that his father always remained cool and replied with a broad smile, howsoever much he was provoked by his opponents in the Assembly or in the public. Dr Rajendra further said that Jagan was seen with a tired face and disturbed hair in most meetings and it was not to the taste of the affluent and middle classes. He cited the example of Abraham Lincoln who was tall and lean and with a dull face. But a girl advised Lincoln to grow a beard to attract the masses. He followed the advice to letters and it won him the position of the President of America and won the admiration of all.

The doctor observes that Chandrababu Naidu often promotes himself by stating that he is the hub of the entire development activity in the state and his administration is exemplary for the nation. People cannot bewonover with such boastful talk. Similarly, Jagan also, in many a public meetings assures to mitigate all the ills of people (as if with a magic wand) soon after 'I become chief minister'bluster. This type of rhetoric may be misconstrued as his edacity for power. So, Jagan is well counseled to refrain from doing so.

An official who was previously employed in the national media and now works in the Central government, told the author that Jagan has no clear cut agenda to effectively attack Chandrababu Naidu and attract the affluent, middle and lower middle class people. Mudslinging at Naidu alone is not going to help Jagan. Instead, he should tell people what he would do for them if voted to power. Stating that there was dissatisfaction among some sections of people on TDP rule and that would be beneficial for Jagan.

Patronisation for Jagan alone

Despite losing the last elections, public attraction for him did not fade which can be judged by the presence of thousands of people wherever he holds public meetings where poor, middle classes and youth are seem in good numbers. But people need to be mobilized for Babu's meetings. Pawan Kalyan is able to attract youth alone. On the contrary, Jagan's meetings are abuzz with all sections of people which is a major plus point.

Though Dr Rajasekhara Reddy, was a convert Christian, the Hindu voters didn't mind it. But these days a lot of social media posts are appearing, questioning Jagan and his mother Vijayamma's religious faith, which is irksome. Vijayamma's holding the holy Bible in her hand during the election campaign also became controversial. Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come to power at the Centre, many Hindus are openly expressing their opposition to Christianity. Moreover, the way in which Christianity was propagated in Andhra Pradesh has also invoked criticism. That's why Jagan's family members must be cautious about these developments and do the needful, said a YSRCP leader who did not wish to be named.

Naidu's electoral strategy

Chandrababu, in his election campaign will focus mainly on development, Amaravathi and corruption. He will try to explain that the ongoing development work in the state will come to a grinding halt if his party is not re-elected. He will use the money laundering cases pending against Jagan to defame him and may even try to create hurdles for Jagan whose political future depends mainly on these factors.

Advantage Jagan

However, the present political situation shows some advantagesfor Jagan who needs to focus on them during public meetings. In the past, Jagan lost by opposing Sonia Gandhi. Later, his monopolistic decisions and his uncompromising attitude caused some more damage. Unless he takes care of the present beneficial factors lying at his doorstep and uses them in a timely manner, he will not only personally lose, but lakhs of his cadre will also meet the same fate. Jagan needs to take decisions very cautiously keeping in view the future of the party and that of his party folk. Such an approach will turn into more votes at the hustings. However, if he fails to win the next elections, both his and his party YSRCP'sfuture looks dark and gloomy.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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