The YSRCP supremo Jagan Reddy may go for early elections as TRS supremo KCR already getting prepared for early elections in late 2023. The reasons are clear to avoid party wave and impact of welfare schemes and public welfares. They further to avoid stiff competition in terms of national parties and their election machinery.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) lifetime president YS Jaganmohan Reddy may go for early elections in the state in view of the growing discontent among sections of the public over the style of his administration, which has started pruning the lists of beneficiaries of various welfare schemes.

Bent upon retaining power, the Chief Minister is showing party legislators the way to reach out to people and feel their pulse. He has already expressed his resolve to capture a total of 175 seats in the next elections to the AP’s Legislative Assembly. His mind games since then are aimed at making the principal opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) diffident, despite the palpable anti-incumbency factor.

In fact, YSRCP is oozing confidence of winning even the Kuppam seat, represented by TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu for 33 years. The reason for this level of confidence of Jagan is the outcome of the recent municipal elections that came in favour of YSRCP. It is a different matter that voters may exercise their franchise differently for local elections, Assembly elections and the General Election depending on their priorities.

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It is possible that for the local bodies they selected representatives irrespective of their political affiliations. For example, during the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, there was a huge lead of 40,000 votes for Congress candidate Nandi Yellaiah in the Medchal segment that falls under the Siddipet LS seat. Medchal was then represented by TDP strongman and home minister in Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet in the combined state of Andhra Pradesh T. Devendar Goud.

Political circles were stunned at the outcome and everybody thought that it was the beginning of the end of Goud’s political career. But in the 1999 General Election, Goud emerged victorious, and continued in Naidu’s cabinet with key portfolios.

YSRCP will be making history should it wrest the Kuppam seat from TDP. Losing the seat might pose serious challenge to the very existence of TDP in the state. So, Jagan is working to make TDP irrelevant post the 2024 polls. Besides, if TDP is defeated again in the 2024 elections, age factor would come into play rendering Naidu less appealing in future elections. In contrast, Jagan has made no bones about his resolve to rule AP for 30 years. Jagan wants to capitalise on the fact that he is 22 years younger than Naidu.

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However, the growing discontent among people is causing concern in ruling party circles. MLAs, despite not being directly involved in the process of disbursement of huge funds by the government to beneficiaries of various welfare schemes, are being made responsible for ensuring that the constituents vote for YSRCP. The government believes that 87% of families in Andhra Pradesh are beneficiaries of various welfare schemes, including ‘Nava Ratnas’.

The schemes are so designed that at least one member of each family is a beneficiary of one welfare scheme or the other. So, the Chief Minister thinks that MLAs could talk to the beneficiaries and ensure that they would vote for YSRCP. He has assured MLAs that he would bring money for the welfare schemes at any cost and disburse the funds by pressing the button.

Still, many of the MLAs are facing embarrassing moments when they meet people during their door-to-door campaign on the welfare schemes. In NTR and Sri Satya Sai districts, MLAs preferred to book cases against those beneficiaries who had dared to question them on corruption, irregularities and removal of their names from the lists of beneficiaries of welfare schemes, including old age and widow pensions. This has attracted widespread criticism. Some of the MLAs lost their cool while talking to beneficiaries. Often the kith and kin of legislators also take part in these programmes and interact with people.  At times, they also reacted in a harsh way.

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This has caused heartburn among people. Such incidents may mar the prospects of the ruling party. Given the deteriorating fiscal health of Andhra Pradesh, there is no guarantee that the current welfare schemes will be continued after the next elections, regardless of who comes to power.In this backdrop, Jaganmohan Reddy may decide to go for early polls in Andhra Pradesh, though elections in the state are scheduled for 2024.

He may prefer to go to polls along with the neighbouring Telangana State, which is scheduled to go to polls in 2023. Mutual cooperation between the two ruling parties of AP and Telangana can be better handled if the two states go to polls simultaneously. The Union government headed by Narendra Modi has to concede such a proposal for early polls in AP. He will consider the prospects of BJP in AP in the context of electoral adjustments with friendly parties. It depends on the relationship between Modi and Jagan. The Chief Minister, despite having a good rapport with Modi, may have to agree to conditions set by the Prime Minister as a BJP leader. #KhabarLive #hydnews