The Seema-Andhra verdict is an interesting one and Chandrababu Naidu who has been out of power for the last ten years just cannot stop smiling. A month back had some one said that Naidu would win the election, many would have laughed, but since the past three weeks there was a change and a huge one which completely swung in favour of the TDP-BJP combine.
We spoke to a couple of voters from Seema-Andhra to analsye what this election in Seema-Andhra was all about. Be it rural or urban, the every voter in Seema-Andhra was well aware that the state had been bifurcated and they had to build a new state. Chandrababu Naidu is clearly experienced on this front as he has been Chief Minister for two terms.
The TDP which has always considered the urban areas as its strong hold fared well this time too. Naidu’s image, the Narendra Modi factor worked for the TDP and yes the huge corruption charges against Jagan Mohan Reddy also worked in favour of the TDP-BJP combine. The TDP was quick to point out everywhere the corruption charges against Jagan Mohan Reddy and even asked questions like what if he goes to jail after he is elected. Naidu did manage to also convince the people that Jagan was more interested in getting his cases quashed rather than ruling the state.
Some even feel that the fact that Jagan was too over confident when it came to fighting the elections did him in. Had he been more vocal about his clear support to the BJP that would have helped him a great deal. The people of Seema-Andhra wanted a model state built at any cost and this meant that any state government having good relations with the union government was getting the Seema-Andhra vote. Jagan on the other hand miscalculated the situation completely. He felt he would sweep the elections in both the segments and also felt that the BJP would fall short and rely on him for support. All that went horribly wrong.
The other factor that went in favour of the TDP is the 79 per cent polling which was clearly an indication that the upper middle class and the educated class which have always been with Naidu came out and voted for him.
Jagan also relied heavily on the YSR factor and more importantly the dalit and Christian factor. He appeared to be a hero all along, but watching him closely one did get the impression that he was not very convincing on issues such as development and of course corruption.
Jagan also had too many expectations on the dalit, Reddy and Christian votes. While he did manage to get a lions share of these votes, the TDP focused entirely on the BC, Kapu and Kamma votes. This helped the TDP a great deal. Jagan’s ploy to field his mother from the Coastal belt of Vizag also did not help him. He felt that his mother would be his trump card over there, but where he read the situation wrong is that the urban sector made the decision here. The urban sector has a huge vote base and moreover there is a major North Indian crowd out here which went all out and voted for the BJP. This brought about Vijayamma’s doom.
Finally, one cannot forget the manner in which all differences were ironed out between Naidu, Pawan Kalyan and Narendra Modi. Towards the end of the campaign they came together in a major way and swung it in favour of the TDP-BJP combine.
One must also not forget that the Congress had a pathetic show out here. They were completely routed in both segments. Many in the Congress say had the state not been bifurcated they would have won at least 5 in Seema-Andhra. However the bifurcation issue went so horribly wrong for them that the voter came out and voted against the Congress in vengeance all over Seema-Andhra.