The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) suffered a humiliating defeat in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections, with the mandate going in favour of a young leader as opposed to a seasoned politician, N Chandrababu Naidu, who is perceived as having failed the state in the past five years.
The TDP, led by Naidu, could get just 24 seats in the 175-member assembly, while the Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, won a whopping 150 seats.
The Lok Sabha results in the state are even worse — the TDP is expected to win a maximum of three seats of the 25, leaving the remaining 22 to the YSRC.
The debacle has come at a time when Naidu was hoping to play kingmaker at the Centre by stitching up an anti-BJP alliance in the event of a fractured mandate at the national level.
Naidu will send his resignation letter to governor ESL Narasimhan at the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad later in the evening, party leaders said.
It was not that the TDP chief did not anticipate this defeat. He sensed it last year itself, when the demand for special category status was gaining momentum across the state and his compromise with the Centre by accepting the special financial package did not go down well with the people.
Apart from non-fulfilment of several promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, poor financial position of the state and the mounting burden of completing two flagship projects — the new capital of Amaravati and major irrigation project Polavaram — were also weighing down Naidu.
Having no other option, Naidu was compelled to leave the National Democratic Alliance and, in order to overcome the anti-incumbency, he started shifting the blame to the Narendra Modi-led central government.
Political analyst S Ramakrishna says one cannot still write off Naidu. “He has tremendous willpower and is a shrewd politician. Even though he was out of power for 10 years, he had managed to bring the TDP back to power in 2014.
The TDP is a strong cadre-based party and it cannot collapse with just one election loss,” Ramakrishna said.
May 23, 2019 23:53 IST
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