The ruling YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh made a clean sweep in the elections to urban local bodies in the state held on March 10. The party decimated the opposition parties completely. The counting of votes took place on Sunday.
The YSRC won 10 out of 11 municipal corporations and established a clear lead in Vijayawada municipal corporation. The counting in Eluru municipal corporation was withheld as per the direction of the state High Court due to an election petition.
The YSRCP also won 73 out of 75 municipalities and nagar panchayats, including four municipalities – Pulivendula, Punganur, Macherla and Piduguralla municipalities, as its candidates were elected unopposed unanimously.
The main opposition, the Telugu Desam Party, drew a blank in the municipal corporations and won just two municipalities – Tadipatri in Anantapur district and Mydukur in Kadapa district – with a slender margin.
However, senior YSRCP leader and state municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana told reporters soon after the election results that the ruling party would capture power even in Tadipatri and Mydukur municipalities with the help of the votes of co-option members. “We shall not allow the TDP to rule any municipality in the state,” the minister said.
If it happens, it will be the YSRCP all the way in all the urban local bodies in the state, which is an unprecedented victory for any political party in the state.
“It is a historic win for the YSRC and an endorsement of the welfare schemes taken up by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government,” said Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, senior YSRCP leader and advisor to the state government.
The Congress drew a blank by not winning even a single ward anywhere in the state, while the BJP-Jana Sena combine did not cross even a single digit in winning the wards and divisions.
A festive atmosphere prevailed at the YSRCP central office at Tadepalli in Amaravati as the party leaders and cadre celebrated the victory by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.
It is a huge setback for the TDP which was desperate to regain the ground which it had lost in the 2019 general elections. Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu extensively campaigned in various municipal corporations and municipalities, attacking the Jagan Mohan Reddy government on various fronts.
Naidu especially focussed on Visakhapatnam trying to exploit the ongoing agitation against the privatization of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and also in Krishna and Guntur districts where he banked on the strong sentiment in favour of Amaravati being retained as the capital city of the state.
However, the TDP lost heavily in these districts. For instance, in the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation elections, the TDP could win only in 30 out of 98 divisions, while the YSRC won 58 divisions.
In Vijayawada, which Naidu developed as part of Amaravati, the YSRC was leading by winning 23 seats in the 64-member corporation, while the TDP was left far behind with victory in just eight seats. In the remaining divisions, too, the YSRC has a clear edge, reports from the YSRC said.
Similarly, in Guntur municipal corporation, the hotbed of agitation for Amaravati capital city, the YSRC established a massive victory by winning 44 out of 57 divisions while the TDP ended up with just nine divisions.
“The victory in Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Vijayawada municipal corporations is a clear indication that the people have endorsed the chief minister’s decision to form the three capitals for the state with executive capital at Visakhapatnam,” YSRC general secretary and MP V Vijay Sai Reddy said.
TDP politburo member and spokesman Varla Ramaiah said it was the YSRCP, not the TDP, which should make an introspection on how it had won the elections. “It has completely bulldozed the elections, misused the official machinery, used the ward volunteers as party workers, spent thousands of crores and cared a damn for the state election commission,” he alleged.
Ramaiah said the TDP would not get disheartened by the defeat. “In fact, the defeat will only strengthen our resolve to fight back and we shall overcome this crisis very soon,” he said.