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BJP prospects in Andhra Pradesh post-TDP split and bitterness

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BJP has 2 Lok Sabha seats from the state. In this article I argue that BJP can win 3-4 seats i.e. double its tally by choosing right candidates and make some shrewd behind the scene arrangements with regional parties.

I would analyse only 8 of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh where I feel BJP has/had clout, and can expect to win in 2019.

Out of these 8 seats, 3 seats I strongly feel are winnable, 3 seats where it can give a fight if it can assure itself of any one regional party, and finally 2 seats where odds are completely against BJP.

« Kothapalli Geetha (Araku – SC seat) : Rebel-YSRCP MP

“I am not going with any of the regional parties in A.P. because of the corruption associated with them and ideological differences,”

“I may come up with my own party or align with a national party. In August, I will announce my decision and resign from the YSRCP,”

Her joining the BJP or creating her own small party will either way be beneficial to BJP… as neighbouring Vishakhpatnam has a sitting BJP MP…

She said in March 19, 2018 — her comments came after all the chaos on SCS status and Babu withdrawing from NDA. So fair guess, she knows what she is getting into Assembly segments: YSRCP – 6 and TDP -1

Probability: High, If she were to join the party.

« Kambhampati Hari Babu (Visakhapatnam): BJP Andhra President

(fully urban seat, with population of central govt employees/armed forces/north Indians)

The win here was very significant in 2014, as it came against YS Jagan’s mother herself.

Seat was earlier held by Purandeswari for INC in 2009 (now in BJP)

Probability: High, Seat has traditionally supported the national parties. It thrice voted in favour of whichever party is more likely to win at Centre (2004 INC, 2009 INC, 2014 BJP)

« Kakinada: Sitting MP from TDP

Falls under East Godavari District, a district that has sizeable population of Kshatriyas and Kapu caste, which are both not so friendly with the TDP.

TDP benefited here because of INC meltdown in 2014, and Pavan Kalyan and BJP’s support to TDP (even then they barely scraped through with 4000 margin)

1998 Krishnama Raju of BJP held this seat(TDP was held 2nd and INC 3rd) only explains the clout his caste has in the region.

Probability: Low, but BJP can play a spoiler for TDP in this seat and clearly both YSRCP and Jana Sena will benefit to have BJP’s support or vice versa.

« Rajahmundry: Sitting MP from TDP

BJP has held this constituency twice earlier, once in alliance with TDP and once in a three way contest between BJP, TDP and INC

It also falls under E.Godavari District

Probability: Medium to high, depending on tacit support BJP could get from any of the other two regional parties YSRCP and Jana Sena

« Narasapuram (Sitting MP: Gokaraju Gangaraju, BJP)

BJP is not stranger to the people of this constituency. Krishnama Raju won it in 1998, came 2nd with a 44% vote share in 1999. In 2014 BJP won this seat with vote% of 50%

Probability: Medium to high, depending on tacit support BJP could get from any of the other two regional parties YSRCP and Jana Sena

« Eluru (sitting MP: Maganti Babu of TDP)

BJP has a stalwart leader of the area Kavuri Samba Siva Rao, he was earlier in Congress and twice MP from here in 2004 and 2009, could not contest in 2014.

Probability: Medium to High, Kavuri Samba Siva Rao can be expected to win on his own

« Rajampet (Purandeswari contested from here and lost)

Daggubati Purandeswari is daughter of NTR, TDP founder and two-time Chief Minister. She was 2 time MP, once from Bapatla and once from Vishakhpatnam. She has a very articulate persona and she commands the respect of her father’s fans even to this day.

She was given Rajampet seat, a predominantly rural seat which she had no connection to, in the seat sharing agreement with TDP in 2014. She lost the seat, which she claimed was due to lack of time to campaign as seat was allotted to her only on the day of nominations, this wasn’t surprising considering the animosity she has with Chandra Babu Naidu.

Currently she holds the post of co-incharge Karnataka helping BJP win over the Telugu speaking population of Karnataka.

Probability: Low, Purandeswari should contest from Bapatla instead

« Bapatla (sitting MP: TDP)

Purandeswari’s husband Daggubati Venkateswara Rao was a Minister in TDP government under NTR. TDP was split up in 1995 and NTR was forced out of his own party, for which Chandra Babu Naidu is often accused of ‘backstabbing’ his own father-in-law for power.

So Daggubati left TDP in bitterness and joined Congress. He was a 5 time MLA for the party. He did not contest in 2014 and stayed away from politics since then. Daggubati family has a strong clout in the Bapatla Lok Sabha region of Prakasam District.

If either or husband or wife were to contest from this seat.. it will be a sure-shot victory for BJP.

Probability: High, considering the clout of the Daggubati’s in the area

Apart from this, there are leaders like Kamineni Srinivas(from Kapu community), and Kanna Janardhana(from Kamma Community) who can win a seat or two for BJP on their own. 

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