The AP elections are just around the corner and surveys have already pointed to which way a powerful breeze is blowing. But it is interesting to understand as to what may drive people to elect a government. Two major districts have played a crucial role in the fate of AP elections of 2014--East and West Godavari. West Godavari is gradually gaining momentum on the political front with many interesting developments drawing eye-balls. Traditionally a TDP fort, the party swept all seats in 2014. Things have significantly changed here in the last 5 years, say experts. The overall disappointment is reflected here in West Godavari too. Added to this, the YSRCP chief and leader of Opposition showed great promise both literally and through his Navaratnalu schemes which seem to have registered quite strongly in the voters. The interest factor to watch the West Godavari district, however, comes from Jana Sena chief coming into the scene with his contest from Bhimavaram. Meanwhile his elder brother Actor Nagababu all set to contest the Narasapuram seat.
Although Pawan Kalyan is a popular actor, people here want a leader who is accessible all the time. 'It is impossible to even get a selfie with Pawan Kalyan, let alone access to meet him!' Says Raghuramkrishnamraju, popular industrialist and businessman who is all set to contest from Narsapuram as MP from YSRCP. He was pressured by TDP till the last minute to stay on and sources say he did not answer even the CM's persuasion phone call and chose to join YS Jagan. The West Godavari caste equations of Kapu community and the BC population may not really be impacted with the presence of stars, says Grandhi Srinivas - the YSRCP candidate ready to take on the star himself. All the parties have fielded Kapu candidates in Bhimavaram and the question now is if the people really believe that Pawan Kalyan will actually be there to work for them.
Srinivas on the other hand has constantly been a recognized leader locally in his own right irrespective of parties. TDP's Anji Babu enjoys the traditional TDP-hold-area badge which makes this election very interesting.
There is a visible overall mark of trust and faith in the YSRCP contestants which they repose in their leader Jagan Mohan Reddy. The people too seem to be in a mood to usher in change. Till a few weeks ago, analysts were busy wondering if AP will witness a Karnataka-like situation with the complexity of this election but the public mandate is unfolding gradually in favour of a an emphatic change of guard.
TDP despite its seasoned politricks is surprisingly still searching for right candidates as local dynamics are changing, showing them in a further shadowy light. The opposition YSRCP seems to have done its homework in being clear and inclusive with its candidates. Impressively, the list is a mix of educated professionals, NRI candidates and bureaucrats while bearing in mind a fair representation from all communities and focussing on a pro-BC agenda. So with a historic Padayatra, a clear welfare agenda and a well-researched candidate list, the YSRCP has certainly put out it's best foot forward in the direction of winning the elections. It is also clear that when people make up their minds, no freebies or monetary temptations will actually come into play.
The author is Executive Editor, Sakshi TV