Tirupati: Local body elections ring warning bells for TDP in Kuppam

TDP Kuppam constituency in-charge P S Munirathnam, former MLC Gounivari Srinivasulu and others at the party meeting in Kuppam on Monday
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TDP Kuppam constituency in-charge P S Munirathnam, former MLC Gounivari Srinivasulu and others at the party meeting in Kuppam on Monday

Highlights

In the four mandals of the segment, YSRCP ZPTC candidates secured a margin of over 62,000 votes as against Naidu’s victory margin of 30,000 votes in 2019

Tirupati: The ruling YSRCP's domination in the TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu's home turf Chittoor and particularly in his own constituency Kuppam was complete with the sweeping results in MPTC and ZPTC elections.

YSRCP has won all 63 ZPTC seats and 799 out of the 852 MPTC seats for which elections were held. Thus, its overall lead in all the 14 Assembly constituencies was clearly established.

In Kuppam from where Naidu has been electing to the Assembly since 1989, TDP lost all four ZPTC seats and could win only three MPTCs out of 69 seats. Even in gram panchayat elections held in February this year, the party could bag only 15 panchayats of 89 in the four mandals that fall under the Assembly segment.

Even in Naidu's native village Naravaripalle, the party faced humiliation by losing the MPTC seat to YSRCP. The party could win only five MPTCs out of 96 seats in Chandragiri constituency and lost all six ZPTC seats.

By gaining much inroads into Naidu's home turf, YSRCP leaders were in jubilant mood and the Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy even challenged Naidu should contest again in 2024 in Kuppam to taste the defeat.

Kuppam became a stronghold for Naidu since he started contesting there in 1989 and won seven times till now. But, in 2019 elections he could win by a margin of 30,722 votes as against 47,121 in 2014 elections.

During that election, he was seen trailing in the first two rounds sending shocks to the party cadre, though the party established lead in all the remaining rounds. Significantly, in ZPTC elections, YSRCP established a lead of over 62,000 votes in the four mandals.

When Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy has been laying special focus on the segment and party constituency in-charge Bharath has been actively involved in various activities, the TDP cadres were saying that Naidu should also visit the constituency frequently to give them moral courage.

They have been saying that there is much over confidence within the party which is against reality. But, due to Covid, Naidu has been not visiting there to fill the void. He made his last visit in February 2021 but never visited since then again.

Speaking to The Hans India, party Kuppam constituency in-charge P S Munirathnam said that the local body election results have not surprised them. With money and muscle power, YSRCP could win Panchayat elections. By seeing that, TDP has opted out of the race in MPTC and ZPTC elections.

"When we were not in the race, how can we have lost the election? We will show our strength in the coming Municipal elections. Assembly elections are entirely different from that of local body polls.

The TDP vote bank is intact and nothing to worry. We are encouraging young leadership and senior leaders will guide them properly," he maintained.

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