Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

Election results appear to exceed everyone's expectations. While YS Jagan scripted history bringing YSR Congress Party to victory to become the next chief minister of the state, I had stated earlier that this in itself would come as no surprise. Surely enough, results have borne me out on this. The are two obvious reasons for this. In the first place, Chandrababu Naidu paid a heavy price for his five years of misrule. Secondly, YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's relentless struggle for the state and the positive image which he built for himself through his dedicated fight for the masses worked to his advantage. YS Jagan's tireless work paid off in the end. Let us first take a look at how Chandrababu harmed his own interests, the acts of commission and omission on his part which led to his party's resounding defeat. The TDP supremo appears to have forgotten that he did not win in 2014 on his own steam, but in alliance with BJP and Jana Sena. He remained under the delusion that he came to power on the strength of his image. Moreover, he promised a raft of welfare schemes he could not deliver and failed to act on his commitments. Foremost among them were loan waivers to farmers and DWCRA women's self-help groups, reservation for the Kapu community and unemployment allowance.

Not only did Chandrababu fail to deliver on these promises, but tried to deceive the people and bully them on these issues acting as if it was up to the Centre and the RBI to fulfill promises he had made. Chandrababu's saga of atrocities and corruption in the name of a new capital of global standards in Amaravati and the manner in which he went about it, cheating the people of the state, is a story in itself. Many a gullible buyer bought land around Nuzvid, believing Chandrababu's words, while the TDP chief cast his eye on Tulluru, an abundantly fertile area, owned by farmers, which yielded three crops in a year. He needlessly acquired 33,000 acres of land and bragged about building a Singapore-like capital. Farmers who did not wish to part with their land were harassed. Crops were also burnt and the TDP tried to blame the YSRCP for this shameful act.

Though Chandrababu was fully aware of the fact that Kapu reservation was not in the hands of the state government, he tried to deceive the people of the state by appearing to push for it. When Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham launched his stir on the issue, Chandrababu behaved in the most dictatorial manner, leading to a sense of outrage and humiliation in the Kapu community.When a train was set afire near Tuni railway station, instead of taking steps to fight the fire and bring it under control, Chandrababu made it a media spectacle and blamed the YSRCP and people from Rayalaseema for it. Similarly, no action was initiated in the case of the Pushkarams tragedy in which 29 innocent lives of devotees were lost, because of Chandrababu's craze for publicity.

The TDP chief turned Janmabhoomi committees into local mafia gangs. Chandrababu supported the excesses committed by his MLAs. He backed party MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar's obnoxious behaviour forgetting his own role as a dispassionate ruler. He was forced to leave Hyderabad which was meant to be the joint capital for ten years, after he got involved in the Note-for-Vote case, as part of an attempt to topple the Telangana government. The TDP chief himself would have lost count of the number of U-turns he made on the subject of Special Category Status to the state. Chandrababu made Andhra society look like one filled with deceit and created a political system replete with cheating. There are a host of other factors which led to his downfall. The strange thing is his belief that people would not see through this skulduggery. The people have paid the TDP chief back at the hustings.

As for YS Jagan, he conducted himself with grace and dignity after his party's loss in the 2014 elections. The YSRCP chief did not ascribe his defeat to EVMs or other such flimsy factors. He stayed amidst the masses right through the five years highlighting their problems. He staged the highest number of protests for Special Category Status to the state. He created history with his 14 month, 3,648 km long mass contact initiative, Praja Sankalpa Yatra. YS Jagan drove home the benefits of Navaratnalu ensuring that the message percolated down to the poorest of the poor, so much so that even Chandrababu was forced to copy some of them. While YS Jagan remained composed after the murder attempt on him at Visakhapatnam airport on October 25, 2018, Chandrababu's sarcastic reaction came as a shock to the people of the state.

YS Jagan appealed to the people to give him an opportunity to serve them and took every care in the selection of candidates and all other important factors. His BC declaration endeared him to BC groups. More than anything else, people rejected Chandrababu's attempts to buy their votes. Through the ballot box, they made sure that the dictatorial Chandrababu bit the dust. People can't be taken for a ride all the time. The AP election results reflect this clearly and one must bow one's head in respect to the people of the state.

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