Congress doomed in Andhra
N Nagaraja Rao
Riding on a strong sympathy wave, jailed MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s nascent YSR Congress, decimated the ruling Congress bagging 15 of the 18 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat in by-elections in Andhra Pradesh in a showing that could be a political game changer in the State evidently emerging as a alternative to the ruling Congress Party in the State. The ruling Congress won just two Assembly seats, while main Opposition Telugu Desam faced a complete rout drawing a blank in a keenly awaited outcome, touted as the “semi-finals” ahead of the 2014 Assembly elections. Telangana Rashtra Samiti fighting for a separate State hood to Telangana managed to scrape through with a slender margin of 1,562 votes in Parkal, the lone Assembly seat in Telangana region, as it faced a close contest from the nominee of the 15-month-old YSR Congress.
The victory of YSRC was so resounding that the Congress lost deposits in six constituencies and the Opposition Telugu Desam lost deposit in five constituencies that went to polls. The erosion of the ruling party vote-bank is phenomenal .The Congress which had polled 36.5 per cent of popular vote in 2009 elections now managed to poll only 21.84 per cent despite merger of the matinee idol Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam party. It may be recalled that Praja Rajyam Party got 16 per cent vote share in the last election. YSR Congress presently with a vote share of 46.5 per cent won in as many as 15 seats while the Congress had scrapped through in two seats.
Thus it is now clear that YSR Congress is indeed elbowing out the Opposition Telugu Desam and emerging a force to reckon with. The spectacular victories of YSR Congress are more significant as it ensured that ruling Congress Party lost the Nellore Lok Sabha seat by unprecedented record margins.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti won the Parkal seat in the Telangana region and this time unfortunately did not enthuse party workers.
As of now, there is no immediate threat to the government from the YSR Congress nor they foresaw any defections as they still have another two years to go for the term to last. YSR Congress does not have strength to dethrone the government unless it indulges in mass and hurried desertions which is very unlikely. With YSR Congress leader in jail over disproportionate assests case, and Enforcement Directorate too joining to interrogate him the party’s future is uncertain.
If the current swing in Jagan’s favour continues unabated, the YSR Congress will soon replace the official Congress.