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2-min read

Telugu Desam Party Wins Nandyal By-elections, Loss of Face For YSR Congress

An election which had turned into a prestige battle for Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the huge victory margin in both rural and urban areas of Nandyal constituency has come as a boost for the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:August 28, 2017, 4:29 PM IST
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Telugu Desam Party Wins Nandyal By-elections, Loss of Face For YSR Congress
File photos of YRS Congress Party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (left) and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu.
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yderabad: The ruling Telugu Desam Party convincingly won in Nandyal by-elections on Monday, and the party is in a celebratory mood.

An election which had turned into a prestige battle for Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the huge victory margin in both rural and urban areas has come as a boost for the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh.

For the YSR Congress Party that claimed the election to be referendum for TDP rule, the loss is a huge setback for the party, especially in the region which had traditionally been a stronghold of YSRCP.

The election result will certainly have huge impact on the politics of Andhra Pradesh as it indicates the road ahead for the two political parties for 2019.

Promising to continue the welfare and development work after winning Nandyal by-poll, Naidu said, "People have again shown confidence and trust in development, welfare and good governance. Voters have rejected vicious and hate speech politics. Muslims along with all sections have voted for TDP. Same results will be seen in future also."

In 2014 elections, it was YSR Congress Party which had won the Nandyal seat. However, their MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy later defected to TDP. The defections of 21 YSRCP legislators to TDP turned the battle ugly for Nandyal.

Making this as a key issue during campaign, YSRCP Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy asked people to give huge mandate to his party and teach Naidu a lesson. He urged people to vote between "right" and "wrong".

BYPOLL WATCH_Nandyal AP

But it seems for the public, defection of leaders was not a critical issue. It was rather development.

The ruling TDP, on the other hand, showered Nandyal with sops and focused on development of Nandyal as their main agenda. The development work started at fast pace and people saw visible changes in the constituency. The TDP government sanctioned about Rs 1500 crores for various projects like, road widening, solving water problem, street-lighting, allotted houses to locals and promised more schemes in coming months.

The politically heated battle turned ugly during campaigning, with YSR Congress Party leaders personally attacking Naidu. Jagan faced massive backlash for his comments against Chief Minister.

An FIR was also registered against him after Election Commission found him guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct. During an election rally, Jagan had said, "If Chandrababu Naidu is shot in the middle of road for his misdeeds, there is nothing wrong."

YSRCP MLA Roja also created controversy when she made personal comments on the dressing of TDP Minister Akhila Priya. YSRCP candidate Silpa Mohan Reddy also was in news for his alleged comments against women.

Naidu and several of his ministers and legislators camped in Nandyal for several days. Jagan too extensively campaigned for 13 days in Nandyal and conducted road shows in every village. However, not focusing on door to door campaign may have proved costly for YSRCP.

Jagan had even roped in election strategist Prashant Kishore, with aim of winning 2019 Assembly Elections. The Nandyal by-poll were seen as first big test. But with this big defeat, the YSRCP needs to re-think on its strategy.

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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