Andhra Assembly elections are less than two years away and political heat is already catching up in the state. As always, politics in Andhra Pradesh has been very interesting. With the entry of Power Star and Jana Sena Party Chief, Pawan Kalyan and his willingness to contest elections in 2019, has added more fuel to the current permutations. As per the latest Lagadapati and Prashant Bhushan's survey, TDP would return to power in 2019 easily. But things could change very quickly in politics and surveys will fail. We have seen that in the last elections in UP.
The wave of elections can potentially change in just few weeks.
TDP Governanace Factor:
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu asserted numerous times that his party, TDP will win the elections with a thumping majority. The TDP party definitely may have an edge as the party is largely relying on the development plank and its achievements during its tenure. Naidu recently launched 'Intintiki Telugu Desam' programme which is seen as a game plan charted out for the 2019 elections. As per this programme, local MLAs and leaders visit their respective constituencies to interact with the people and educate them with the development schemes of the government.
Amaravati Factor Chandrababu Naidu has been working actively on Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city project and holds the promise of being a city in India. But it is highly impossible to build a city in just two years. There are many visible projects which were started and may complete partially in the next two years. Naidu was able to successfully move the Secretariat from Hyderabad to Amaravati. This is one of the major browny points for the incumbent govermment.
Caste and religion will play a major role
Caste and religion will play a major role in deciding the final outcome in Andhra politics. Andhra has majority OC and SC population and traditionally OBC groups voted TDP and SC groups supported Congress and now YSRCP. Kammas,Reddys and Kapus dominate the political arena. Kammas always elected TDP and Reddy’s with YSRCP with few exceptions. Kapu community liked NTR in the past but after PRP, they voted for TDP as Pawan Kalyan endorsed TDP in 2014 elections.
Kapu community will be deciding factor in 2019 elections. As of now they are with TDP and if Pawan kalyan backs TDP in 2019 elections TDP’s win would be a cakewalk. If Pawan kalyan goes to election without any pre election coalition , the votes will split and mostly both Janasena and TDP would loose and YSRCP would be the winner. If both TDP and Janasena gets into into pre election coalition then they might form the government together. Considering the fact that Pawan kalyan has not endorsed Jagan for now the coalition of YSRCP and Janasena is not a possibility. But since there are two more years and Indian politics of 21st century changes in the last second anything could happen and everybody has equal chances to win and loose.
YSR Congress Party supremo and Leader of the opposition, YS Jagan is a very strong leader and has the charisma to win over the hearts of the people. He narrowly missed in 2014 elections as he was riding with the wave. But things changed in the last minute, but YSRCP gained a respectable 45.5% vote share.
Post elections, people debated over Jagan's political immaturity but he has done a pretty decent job as a opposition leader. He has been highlighting TDP government failure to implement election manifesto such as failure to implement farmer's loan waiver, dwacra loan waiver, inability to get special status, lands acquisition in Amaravati.
Jagan recently roped in political strategist, Prashant Kishor as a consultant to preparing strategies to take on the ruling TDP in 2019 elections. But TDP is painting negative image of YSRCP supremo and reminding people that Jagan was involved in many CBI charge sheets as a A1 accused.
BJP strongman Amit Shah has Andhra in his party’s road map. His recent visit to Vijayawada, was primarily to make the party ready for 2019 elections with or with-out alliance with the ruling party, TDP. BJP is planning to grow independently and working towards his target 350 programme. As the indications available, BJP is looking for the strong leader from Kapu community to lead AP state, who can support the party at the grass root level. But for the time being, TDP-BJP relationship looks strong and will continue its march to 2019 elections.
What People Want:
Andhra, after bifurcation needs industries, hospitals, airpots and investments. Currently Andhra has very old infrastructure and no major airport. People see opportunity with TDP as Chandrababu Naidu is experienced and has a brand image with industrialists around the world, feel that he can lead them to Andhra's bright future. On the other hand, there are fears that YSRCP, if it comes to power in 2019, it may reverse the baby steps that TDP took to jump-start the state development.
There is a high chance of TDP winning in 2019, but even if he did not, BJP may win at the center. Next year is very crucial for both TDP and YSRCP parties. While both parties are trying to consolidate its position and outwork each other in luring powerful leaders from other parties, it is very important that they form game-changing alliances before the elections.