Vijayawada: The ruling TDP managed to have a last laugh on the YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s home turf of Kadapa district by causing humiliating defeat to Jagan’s uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy in the MLC elections for local bodies segment.
Vivekananda Reddy lost to his TDP rival B Tech Ravi with a margin of 38 votes. Winning for any party in ruling in the council polls usually held under the influence of money and power may not be a big surprise in the layman’s perception. But the present case in Kadapa district, a strong hold of the YS family since late 1970s with 530 voters in the YSRC basket, speaks of the master stroke delivered by CM Naidu.
Besides, the result also brings to the fore the election management of Jaganmohan Reddy and his party’s perceived complacence.
In fact, all the 530-odd elected representatives of the municipalities, mandal parishads and the zilla parishad were elected on the YSRC party symbols. Besides, the party has two MPs and seven MLAs, who include Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy in its camp.
But it appears that they all failed to keep its flock together.
The presence of TDP in Kadapa district is nominal with only one MLA elected on its symbol in 2014 elections. The number of MLAs in TDP fold went up to three with defection of two YSRC MLAs—Devagudi Adinarayana Reddy from Jammalamadugu and Jayaramulu from Badvel. The TDP top brass has deployed party Rajya Sabha member CM Ramesh and HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao to head the election management in close coordination with the three MLAs.
In fact, Ravi’s election sprang a surprise for many given the intra-party feuds between Adinarayana Reddy and old timers in the district party which expected to help Vivekananda Reddy in the form of cross-voting. But the TDP election managers burnt their midnight oil and ensured that all the votes numbering around 90 in Adinarayana Reddy’s fold were successfully transferred to the TDP candidate. Besides, cross-voting from his camp seemingly upsets Vivekananda Reddy’s applecart.
Admission of Batyala Chengalrayudu, Congress MLC, to the TDP in the run up to the MLC elections also helped Ravi secure over 10 votes in Railway Koduru area.
Both the parties ran camps in Pondicherry and Visakhapatnam in an apparent bid to keep their supporters intact. The TDP leaders even took a media team to its camp from Kadapa to demonstrate their strength. When the TDP leaders claimed to have 435 voters in their camp, its candidate polled 434 votes which indicated the party’s effective poll management.
“Our next target is Pulivendula”, declares Naidu in a chat with party leaders in the Assembly while sharing joy over the party’s clean sweep in the MLC elections for local bodies in the Rayalaseema region. The statement indicates Naidu’s eagerness to storm into Pulivendula, Jagan’s home constituency in the next election.
For the TDP Kadapa district is considered to be a place of outlanders all these days as it continued to be an invincible fort for the YS family. Jaganmohan Reddy, talking to the media, however, attributed the TDP’s victory to its