Andhra Pradesh to witness multi-corner contest
New Delhi: While there is a nationwide debate going on whether who will form the government at the Centre, beyond Vindhyas in Andhra Pradesh, where elections are being held for both Assembly and Lok Sabha, has become quite interesting.
The 175- member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are going for polls on April 11 in Andhra Pradesh. As the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Chandrababu Naidu is trying to retain the power in the state, the main opposition party in the state, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) led by Jagan Mohan Reddy is busy giving a tough fight to come to power.
The Jana Sena Party led by star-turned politician Pawan Kalyan is trying its luck for the first time in this election with an alliance with left parties. Both the national parties - Congress and BJP are also in the fray. Many political heavyweights, more than 20 retired civil servants, including former joint director of CBI Lakshminarayana are in the fray. Lakshminarayana is contesting from Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat on the Jana Sena ticket. Former Union Minister in UPA-1 and UPA-2 and daughter of NT Rama Rao, Purandeshwari is contesting from Visakhapatnam for Lok Sabha on BJP ticket.
Perhaps this is for the first time, the family members of the founder of TDP and former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao (NTR) are contesting from three political parties.
While Purandeshwari is in the race for Lok Sabha seat on BJP ticket, NTR's eldest son-in-law and husband of Purandeshwari, Dr Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao is contesting for Assembly on YSRCP ticket and NTR's son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu is
contesting for assembly from TDP.
Chandrababu's son Lokesh is trying his luck in Mangalagiri assembly seat, Babu's brother-in-law Balakrishna is seeking a second term from Hindupur assembly seat.
Moreover Balakrishna's son-in-law Bharat is in the fray for Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat from TDP. While YSRCP leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy is contesting for
Assembly from Pulivendula, his relative Avinash Reddy is contesting from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat.
Another relative of Jagan Mohan Reddy is also in the fray for Assembly. Of course, Jana Sena is not lagging behind. While Pawan Kalyan is contesting from two assembly seats, his elder brother and film star Naga Babu is in
the race for Narsapuram Lok Sabha seat.
Interestingly, enough former Union Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, who joined TDP recently, is contesting for Araku Lok Sabha seat, his daughter Shruti Devi is also racing for Araku Lok Sabha seat from Congress ticket. Former Union Ministers Panabaka Lakshmi, JD Seelam, Ashok Gajapati Raju, Dr Chinta Mohan, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy are also trying their luck in this elections.
Many family members of senior leaders from various political parties are fighting elections to keep their dynasty tag to go on. Interestingly enough, going by the nomination papers of candidates, many of them are crorepatis and some of them are having properties worth of more than Rs. 100 crores.
Multi-cornered contest: With all the five political parties have fielded candidates, who will benefit from the multi-corner fight for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls is the main debate going on in the political circles of Andhra Pradesh. While TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is more focused on developmental agenda,
welfare schemes and trying to ignite the sentiment of self-respect of Telugus, besides Special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Chandrababu is also critical of BJP leadership and Prime Minister Modi for not keeping the promises to the state and more trying to conspire against the state by having a secret understanding with Jagan and TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Going by the past experience, Chief Minister Chandrababu hiked the pensions from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 in January and promises to increase it by Rs 3,000 after coming to power.
As per the government data, the pensions would benefit more than 5 million people. On the other hand, opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy, who lost the last elections by a very thin margin, he is pulling all his might to come to power by exposing the unfulfilled promises of Chandrababu, unemployment and promises people that he would bring back YSR raj in the state. Jana Sena Party led by Pawan Kalyan, which supported the TDP-BJP alliance in 2014, is promising transparency in politics.
Though Congress and BJP are also giving tough fight some constituencies, these parties are unlikely to win many seats in the assembly.