The political landscape of Andhra Pradesh has seen a drastic change over the past year, with the Special Category Status of the state which is relentlessly being championed by YSR Congress party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, taking prime importance.
The TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu did a complete U turn on the matter. There is a complete reversal in the alliance of the TDP and other parties, as well. The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is facing a tough challenge from the principal opposition party in the state, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which is set to knock the TDP off its perch despite Chandrababu Naidu's hook-and-crook strategies.
TDP is finding itself in a spot with no alliance even though the Lok Sabha elections are fast approaching.
In 2014, the TDP had the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and the actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party(JSP) as its allies to fight the YSRCP.
This time around the parties in Andhra Pradesh are going to witness a multi-cornered fight as the TDP had exited the NDA last year in March over the special category status and enough funds not being given to the state by the Centre. Pawan Kalyan had withdrawn support and ties with the TDP in 2018.
Pawan had also surprised people when he came out and lashed out at the TDP Chief and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu and his son N Lokesh, calling them currupt.
Earlier Pawan had said that he will form an aliance with the Left parties for the upcoming elections. So far, The BJP, TDP, or Congress have not gone in for any alliances, as was the case in the 2014 election.
A TDP Leader on condition of anonymity said that while the party will join hands with the Congress at the national level (anti-BJP coalition), it will not do so for Andhra Pradesh elections, given that the Congress is still being seen as a non-player.
There was such strong backlash against bifurcation that the Congress failed to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 election, in spite of being in power for over 10 years at the Centre. In 2014, the TDP had won 102 seats (in a pre-poll alliance with the BJP), the YSRCP won 67 seats, and the BJP four out of the 175 assembly seats. Subsequently, more than 20 YSRCP members of legislative assembly (MLAs) defected to the TDP.
The February, two of the TDP's MLAs quit the party to join the YSRCP. The TDP is also banking on many welfare schemes that they had introduced, to win the upcoming elections, but knows that it is shaky ground in view of the fact that there has been a huge gap between promises and action on the ground. The much-touted Pasupu-Kumkuma scheme is a case in point.
This alone will cost the Andhra Pradesh exchequer Rs. 9,750 crore, said one of the TDP leaders mentioned above. The state government has also announced the Annadata Sukhibhava scheme (for farmers), with great fanfare in February. All these announcements are being seen by the people of the state as a desperate attempt to cling to power.