As per the trends so far, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress (YSRC) has single-handedly wiped out Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as well as the BJP and Congress in Andhra Pradesh. The latest election commission data shows the party led by YS Jaganmohan Reddy surging ahead in all the 25 constituencies in the state, beating exit poll estimates. According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, YSRC was likely to bag around 18-20 Lok Sabha seats while TDP would be left with only 4-6 seats.
Among the 176 Andhra Pradesh Assembly seats, YSRC is leading in a whopping 149 seats while the ruling TDP is leading in only 24 seats. The state had voted on April 11 in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections and polling was held concurrently with assembly elections.
With this turn in fortunes, Naidu, who was seeking a re-election as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, will reportedly submit his resignation to the Governor around 5 pm today. The TDP had ruled the state since the bifurcation of Telangana in 2014. YSRC senior leader Ummareddy Venkateswarlu said that "Jaganmohan Reddy [will] take oath as Andhra CM on May 30".
It was Reddy's powerful electoral campaign seeking special status for the state that forced Naidu to quit the NDA and go against BJP in March last year. The Centre's stand is that according special category status to states is not constitutionally possible after the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations. The split did not pay off for Naidu. On the contrary, it left him fighting a two-front battle.
Naidu was further hurt by Reddy's electoral campaign, 'Ninnu Nammam Babu' (we don't trust you, Babu) - highlighting the promises the CM failed to fulfill, including winning special category status for the state, loan waivers, a job for every household and free housing for the poor - which came just weeks after his 14-month-long walkathon across Andhra Pradesh.
In 2014 state elections, a difference of just 0.3 per cent of votes between the TDP and the YSRC translated into 35 assembly seats, which drove Naidu to power. According to pollsters, the YSRCP's vote-share is expected to go up by 3.4 per cent to around 48 while TDP's will dip to 40 per cent, widening the gap between the two parties to 8 per cent.
With PTI inputs