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Debacle in Kuppam generates heat in TDP
- YSRCP gains much inroads into Naidu’s bastion
- Out of 89 panchayats in four mandals, the ruling YSRCP registered victory in 74, the TDP could win only 14
Tirupati: The huge defeat of TDP in the gram panchayat elections in Kuppam constituency has generated enough heat in the party. These results assume significance as it has been the constituency represented by party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu for over three decades.
Out of 89 panchayats in four mandals, TDP could bag only 14 while the ruling YSRCP secured 74 leaving one seat to the Congress party. In consecutive elections to the State Assembly, it was a cakewalk for Naidu in Kuppam constituency from where he won seven times till now since 1989.
Party leaders expected to win at least about 70 panchayats and even managed to be in the fray in all seats. But to their dismay they could manage to win only a few seats in Naidu's native constituency and the YSRCP swept the polls. The TDP leaders argue that the ruling party has dumped outside men and money in the last three days in Kuppam and threatened local people about withdrawing the welfare schemes if their candidates lose the elections which made a huge difference.
The direct involvement of a senior ruling party leader was key in their poll management, the TDP alleged. Though TDP also distributed money the amounts were meagre compared to the YSRCP. There was a view that the local TDP leaders are not taking the ground realities to the notice of the party chief.
The party had to pay a huge price because of the apathetic attitude and overconfidence of leaders. Party activists point out that no leader was seen on the day of election which made the candidates helpless during polling and counting. Even Naidu has pointed out these lapses during his post results review.
There was a view that the situation was different since 2019 which Naidu should have kept in mind and make frequent visits to the constituency. Though he was unable to come in the Covid times, Lokesh could have filled the gap which would have made some difference and all these mistakes proved to be suicidal for the party.
Unless the party high command wakes up to the warning signals from the panchayat polls, the party position may further deteriorate. However, party MLC and senior leader from Santhipuram Gounivari Srinivasulu said that the party will bounce back in the coming Parishad elections.
"We have taken up every aspect to the notice of our leader Naidu after which he spoke to SP also. Following this, police security was also arranged but by that time the damage was already done. The YSRCP leaders resorted to dubious methods to woo voters using their power. Finally, we were shocked to see these results which we never expected," he told The Hans India.
He added that Naidu assured to visit Kuppam soon for an extensive tour to reach out to the people directly. The party has been chalking out a plan of action and will go forward systematically to show a difference in the Parishad elections.