MPTC-ZPTC POLLS: TDP contestants refuse to call it quits
- In many traditional strongholds of TDP, candidates are not in a mood to leave the poll battle since this will be their once-in-five-years opportunity
- They also can use the excuse of boycott decision in case they lose the polls
Anantapur: With just three days to go for polling on April 8, TDP nominees for the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) are unable to digest the party decision to withdraw from electoral fray as the opportunity which comes only once in a five years will have to wait until 2026 if forfeited now.
The contestants who are in the middle of battle having spent considerable amount of money are unable to call it quits and continuing their campaigning though not a high profile one.
Most of the TDP contestants, especially those in TDP strongholds like Uravakonda constituency are engaged in a 'never say die' battle. Contestants are disinclined to quit especially in TDP pockets of influence where winning chances are based only on local factors and village politics.
However, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu's decision to boycott the elections, the local TDP leaders feel, might serve as a face-saving move.
If they fared badly in the polls, they can say they withdrew from contest and did not actively campaign for their victory. In TDP pockets of influence, many of the contestants are likely to win despite no campaigning as the traditional voters would automatically press the TDP button.
There is also a discernible change in voters even in some of the TDP strongholds due to the welfare benefits accrued to them through the ruling YSCRP government.
Some of them feel that Jagan Mohan Reddy's welfare agenda is on apolitical lines and he deserves to be supported unlike during the TDP rule when political lines were drawn clearly and benefits were distributed only on political lines based on political leanings and loyalties.
That is the reason for the increased vote share of YSRCP in Assembly and local body polls.
TDP local leadership feels that if panchayath elections were boycotted then there would have been justification as the battle was fought on non-political lines but to with draw from a political battle fought on party symbols would be politically suicidal and would give credence to the YSRCP propaganda that the MPTC and ZPTC electorate also would formally vote for the party on the same lines as panchayath and municipal polls.
If the TDP wins, it can send a different message and if not can take shelter under the TDP boycott call, saying they had withdrawn from electoral fray abruptly and so the poor results.
For the ZPTC elections, 63 mandals will have 63 MPTCs who will elect their ZP chairman. For the MPTC elections, the people would elect 841 MPTCs. The polling will be held on April 8 for both the MPTC and ZPTC elections and each voter will have to cast two votes, one for ZPTC and the other for electing their MPTCs.