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YSR returns to power on pro-poor schemes,fans don’t vote for PRP

Y S Rajasekhara Reddy led the Congress to a second consecutive win on Saturday in Andhra Pradesh.

Y S Rajasekhara Reddy led the Congress to a second consecutive win on Saturday in Andhra Pradesh. Riding on pro-poor and populist schemes,the Congress retained power with a simple majority by winning 157 seats. The TDP-led Grand Alliance won 106 seats — 91 (TDP),four (CPI),one (CPM) and 10 (TRS).

Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party managed to win 18 seats. The BJP won two,AIMIM seven,and rebels and Independents won four seats.

The tie-up with the TRS and the Left proved to be disastrous for the TDP,as the TRS won in only 10 of the 45 seats it contested while the CPI and CPI(M) won only five of the 30 seats they contested.

Belying its own expectations and amidst predictions of a hung Assembly,the Congress rode back to power on the strength of its populist schemes,particularly the Rs 2 per kg rice,free power to farm sector,and Rajiv Arogya Shree free health care programme for the poor. The single most important factor that aided the Congress appears to be the half-a-dozen schemes implemented by the Government in the last five years. The party swept the Rayalaseema region and retained its hold over coastal Andhra.

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The TDP,which was reduced to 47 seats in 2004 election,regained a lot of lost ground but could not break the Congress’s surge. There were doubts in the Congress camp that it may lose its share of votes to the PRP in the nine districts of coastal Andhra. However,against all expectations,the Congress won 68 of the 124 seats in these districts. The party swept the four districts of Rayalaseema winning 32 of the 52 seats. In Telangana,the Congress won 57 of the 119 seats in 10 districts. The PRP failed to make any impact in East Godavari (four seats),West Godavari (one seat),Krishna (0),and Srikakulam (0) districts where it was expected to consolidate itself.

The glamourous PRP with its promise of social justice and empowerment to weaker sections,and the TDP’s cash transfer scheme and promise of free television sets failed to attract voters.

As the Telangana sentiment failed to fire this time,the TRS performed dismally in Telangana where it contested 47 seats but won only 10 seats falling way short of its 2004 tally of 26.

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The TDP individually won 42 of the 64 seats it contested in Telangana while allotting 45 seats to TRS and 10 seats to Left parties. Both the TRS and Left parties performed dismally,which scuttled the chances of the Grand Alliance.

The Congress fell short of its 2004 tally of 185 seats,as some heavyweights and ministers lost the election. Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president D Srinivas,Speaker Suresh Reddy,minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Jeevan Reddy,Mohammed Fareeduddin,P Venkateshwara Rao,N Rajyalakshmi,wife of former CM N Janardhan Reddy,lost. Actress Roja of the TDP lost from Chandragiri.

YSR won from Pulivendala with a majority of 1,03,556 votes while TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu won from Kuppam with a margin of 89,952 votes. Chiranjeevi won from Tirupati with a margin of 56,309,but lost from Palacole.

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Locked in a triangular contest with the TDP — forming a strong opposition under the ‘Maha Kutami’ with the TRS and Left — and a charged-up PRP,YSR created a record by becoming the only Congress leader in the state to lead the party to a second consecutive term since 1982. A jubilant YSR said it was the party’s pro-poor schemes that held it in good stead.

Andhra Tally

PARTY seats

Cong 157

TDP 91

TRS 10

CPI 4

CPM 1

PRP 18

BJP 2

AIMIM 7

Independents 4

Total seats 294

First published on: 17-05-2009 at 01:15:51 am
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