As polling progressed in 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi rang up Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu, spoke to each other,at least twice during the day, and enquired about the “trend”.
“Favourable,” is what Naidu reportedly told Modi, indicating that the TDP-BJP combine is all set to make electoral gains as estimated in 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats where close to 75 per cent polling was reported on Wednesday.
The TDP’s assessment is that the combine is well placed in north coastal Andhra districts like Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.
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The TDP is expected to put up a good show in East Godavari and West Godavari districts, besides Krishna and Guntur in south coastal Andhra.
However, in Rayalaseema, the TDP-BJP combine might make a mark in Anantapuram and parts of Chittoor district, but lose significantly in Kadapa and Kurnool districts.
In Prakasam and Nellore districts, a tough fight between TDP and YSR Congress has ensued.
Overall, the trend indicated that the fight would be neck-and-neck between the TDP and the YSR Congress for power in the new state assembly, even as a similar trend is likely to be seen during Lok Sabha polls, being held simultaneously.
With 75 per cent polling reported so far, which may eventually end up on a higher scale after final figures are computed, each party has expressed confidence about winning a majority.
Around 3 pm, during the course of polling, the YSR Congress began a campaign claiming that it was on course to bag 130 assembly seats.
Viewing this as a YSR Congress “mind game” intended to influence voting patterns during the last three hours, the TDP launched a counter-offensive saying that “Jaganmohan Reddy is now history,” as his YSR Congress party is losing the polls.
While the two parties fought it out until the last minute, the Congress quietly slipped into oblivion, even as the Jai Samaikyaandhra Party of former Andhra Pradesh CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy too exited without a trace.