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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

August 01, 2013 11:54 IST

How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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The division of Andhra Pradesh will see not just a change in the geographical profile of the state but will also totally alter the political landscape across the regions and re-write the fortunes of all major parties.

The United Progressive Alliance on Tuesday decided to accord separate statehood to Telangana creating to states for the Telugu-speaking people.

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Image: Telangana supporters celebrate after UPA annouced statehood for the region
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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What gains it accrues in Telangana region by agreeing to divide Andhra Pradesh is a matter of conjecture but the ruling Congress is expected to find the going tough in the Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.

The Congress hopes the decision in favour of Telangana will pay rich political dividends to it but is wary of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi that remained the torchbearer of the separate statehood movement.

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Image: Congress workers burst firecrackers after the division of Andhra Pradesh
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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The TRS is yet non-committal on the prospective merger with the Congress and will keep the latter guessing for more time.

But if the TRS seeks to establish its own political identity in the new state rather than embrace the Congress, the latter could face problems. Such an eventuality will upset the Congress’ larger political game plan.

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Image: TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao with party general secretary Keshav Rao
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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The Telugu Desam Party hopes to re-establish its hold in Telangana, having inclined in favour of bifurcation. But, the same factor may dent its prospects in the Andhra-Rayalaseema regions though it still remains the major force.

By standing for a unified state in the last minute, Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress has been reduced to a naught in Telangana and its influence, if any, should now be confined to Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.

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Image: TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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In the emerging scenario, the TDP and YSR Congress will be the main contenders for power in Andhra-Rayalaseema. YSR Congress's fortunes, however, hinge on its chief Jagan and if he doesn't come out of jail ahead of the general elections, the party could face hurdles.

Interesting will be the Bharatiya Janata Party’s case in the two regions now that the state bifurcation is set to happen. The party has been robbed of a key electoral issue in Telangana with the Congress beating it in the game.

Its existence has become a big question mark in Andhra-Rayalaseema because of the pro-division stance it has adopted.

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Image: YSR Congress Jaganmohan Reddy
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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How Andhra Pradesh division will change fortunes of political parties

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The Communist Party of India still has some influence in Telangana and that was one reason for it to support the statehood demand. Whether it will help the party make any gains in the next elections is, however, uncertain.

The CPM may not gain much across the regions unless it forges an alliance with the YSRC, as being speculated, in Andhra-Rayalaseema.

While safeguarding its traditional bastion Hyderabad, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen wanted to spread its wings in different pockets of Andhra Pradesh that had a sizeable Muslim population.

The strategy might have worked at least partially had the state remained united but in the changed scenario the MIM’s plans might not fructify.


Image: Communist activists with the party flag
Photographs: Reuters

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