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Who is winning the fight in Seema-Andhra

By Vicky Nanjappa
April 15, 2014 12:45 IST
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The strong Bharatiya Janata Party-Telugu Desam Party combine in Seema-Andhra could upset the calculations of the YSR Congress, but the TDP's biggest problem is rebellion from within. Vicky Nanjappa reports     

The political battle in Seema-Andhra has intensified with the four main contenders -- YSR Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party-Telugu Desam Party, Congress and the Jai Samaikyandhra Party -- slugging it out.  

But the real fight is between the TDP and the YSR Congress with Jagan Mohan Reddy’s having an edge over his rival. spoke to members of both parties to find out which seats they are sure of winning. The two parties know their safe seats and are focussing on these constituencies.
YSR Congress Party (Lok Sabha segment):

The constituencies mentioned below are the party’s strong holds and they expect certain victory here.

Visakhapatnam , Kadapa, Rajanpet, Ananthpur, Nandiyal, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Amlapuram, Machlipatanam, Vijayawada, Narasaraopet, Nellore and Ongole.
The TDP-BJP combine:

Many within the TDP feel that the BJP has its most realistic chance of winning in the Narasapuram constituency. The TDP on the other hand are sure they will win Guntur, Eluru, Hindupur, Kurnool, Chittoor, Kakinada, Rajmundhry and Ankapally.

The Congress feels that it will win from Tirupathi and Araku since they have good candidates here.
While this is what the leaders are expecting, they feel that in some constituencies there could be an upward or downward swing as election day (May 7) approaches.

The YSR Congress party that is likely to take the lead in both segments would ideally be looking for more than 15 Lok Sabha seats. The party faces a few issues which could result in them not getting the expected result in the Lok Sabha segment. The YSR Congress, Congress and Kiran Kumar Reddy’s new party, Jaisamaikyandhra are seeking the same votes. This is likely to hurt the YSR Congress in some pockets.
The TDP-BJP looks like a combine that is growing with each passing day. On the alliance front there is peace in this region unlike in Telangana where the BJP did not want to ally with the TDP. The TDP’s biggest problem is the TDP itself. It is facing a huge rebellion within the party, all thanks to party president Chandrababu Naidu taking into the party fold some Congress members.

The TDP cadre feel that Naidu is giving away too much to the new entrants. The peak of the rebellion can be witnessed in the Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari and Guntur. If the rebellion is not brought under control it could hurt the party. Both these parties also want BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to come down to the region and address as many rallies as possible. The TDP is also looking to get down to business as soon as possible and fight the YSR Congress party.
The bifurcation of the state has cost the Congress dearly. They are hopeful of winning just two seats. However, they appear to have a better chance in Araku and could end up in a hard fought battle with the BJP in Tirupathi.

Image: (From left) BJP's national treasurer Piyush Goyal, BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders after they announced  their alliance in Hyderabad.  Photograph: SnapsIndia

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore