With the division of Andhra Pradesh a reality now, political parties in the state are redrawing their strategies with the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections looming.
President’s rule was imposed in Andhra Pradesh as Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and also a number of Congress MLAs quit their posts and party in Seemandhra in protest against state’s division.
Riding the formation of Telangana, the ruling Congress is hoping to make substantial gains in the region which has 17 Lok Sabha and 119 assembly segments.
Congress MPs, MLAs and ministers in the erstwhile Kiran Kumar Reddy government are taking out victory rallies and events to thank Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the passage of Telangana bill in Parliament.
Congress expressed hope that TRS, which is now a powerful force in the region, would merge with it, but the ties appeared to have run into rough weather in the wake of the national party “poaching” on some TRS leaders.
The issue of possible merger or alliance between the two parties is expected to be clear this week with the TRS holding a crucial party meeting tomorrow.
Either merger or alliance with TRS is expected to boost Congress’ prospects in the region.
Under attack for state’s division, Congress, however, faces a bleak future in Seemandhra (with 25 Lok Sabha and 175 assembly seats) and its leaders are trying to highlight the development package offered the residual Andhra Pradesh to reach out to the voters.
TRS leaders are expected to do well in the region as it is their party which took the separate statehood demand to the national centre-stage.
The main opposition TDP is upbeat in Seemandhra as it appears to be making gains in the region due to its Chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s pro-development and strong leader image.
Ministers from Seemandhra in the erstwhile Reddy government and other Congress MLAs, who were opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh, are joining the TDP which is a boost to its prospects.
The picture is not too rosy for TDP in Telangana as TRS and Congress appear to be the clear favourites as the two parties are credited with the formation of separate state.
In a setback to TDP in Telangana, some of its MLAs have joined TRS in recent times.
YSR Congress expects to do well in Seemandhra as it favoured united Andhra Pradesh and also due to the charisma of its leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and the good will for late Y S
The party, however, faces an uphill task in Telangana because of its stance against the division of Andhra Pradesh.
BJP is hoping to do well in Telangana as it had been consistent in supporting separate Telangana demand, though it shares the blame in Seemandhra along with Congress for division.
The party hopes that the popularity of its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would help.
CPI has been a strong supporter of separate Telangana and it expects to reap an electoral benefit in the region for its campaign in support of statehood demand.
CPI, on the other hand, was opposed to division of Andhra Pradesh, and it can expect to do well in areas of its strength. Both the Left parties are expected to have an electoral alliance with major parties.