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Will AAP find the going tough in Andhra Pradesh?

January 15, 2014 15:19 IST

A membership drive by the Aam Admi Party in Andhra Pradesh ended with over 38,000 members enrolling themselves. No doubt, it is an impressive number in a state which fights elections on several issues barring corruption. But is it enough, wonders Vicky Nanjappa

From the Telangana region alone, there have been 20,000 registrations, while in Hyderabad, the number is 3,000. The rest are from the Seema-Andhra region.

Andhra Pradesh is however not a stranger to a corruption crusader. Jayaprakash Narayan, who heads the Lok Satta Party is a great supporter of the AAP. Narayan tells rediff.com, “There is a need for a change, and we want to promote clean politics. The Delhi verdict has shown that people want a change.”

Narayan has met AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal several times and has discussed about possibility of fighting the forthcoming elections from Andhra. He says that the likely course of action will be finalised on Thursday in a meeting.

Talks are on to decide on whether to merge the Lok Satta with the AAP or fight the elections as allies. There are indications that a merger will take place.

It is very difficult to predict the prospects of the AAP in Andhra as of now. The party may have its best chance in Karnataka, where South India is concerned, but in Andhra, the battle is expected to be tough. The biggest issue is Telangana and no one in the state is prepared to look beyond that.

If there are some who believe in the AAP ideology, then they are clearly outnumbered only because of the Telangana issue which is extremely emotional to both sides.

In the weeks to come, both the Lok Satta and the AAP will decide on how many candidates to field.

The best chance of putting up a decent show for the AAP will be at Hyderabad, Vishakakapatanam, Kurnool and Warrangal.

M P Thomas, who is the part of the state coordination committee of the AAP is optimistic. “The response has been overwhelming and there we have been receiving a lot of queries. For starters, what we want to ensure is that the voting percentage goes up to at least 80 per cent, as there is a need for participation in the democratic process. While this is what we would be doing now, there will be a separate election campaign later,” he informs.

G Prakash, who is part of the coordination committee for Seema-Andhra, says that issues such as corruption and price rise are sure being discussed by the people.

“These are the issues that need to be dealt with immediately, and in this regard, local manifestos from the district level would be prepared,” he says.

Political analysts are of the view that the AAP may create a bit of a wave in term of awareness, but to make a decent impact appears to be tough. The state is too engrossed in its bifurcation and no one seems to be discussing any other issue.

The Lok Satta Party, which has been seriously speaking about issues raised by the AAP has managed only one seat, and that tells the voting pattern in Andhra, the experts also point out.

Analysts also say that there will be pockets in urban areas where they would have a standing and a tie up with the Lok Satta will be a good step forward for AAP in Andhra Pradesh.

Vicky Nanjappa