YSR leads Congress to renewed mandate in Andhra Pradesh (Second Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 16 (IANS) Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s magic worked again in Andhra Pradesh as Congress party retained power with a simple majority.
Facing a united opposition alliance and the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) of superstar Chiranjeevi, YSR emerged victorious and achieved the distinction of being the only Congress leader to lead the party to a second consecutive term in the southern state after 1982.

Three days after becoming the first chief minister in the state’s history to complete full five years in office, YSR surprised all by leading the party to power despite the glamour of Chiranjeevi and the free television and cash transfer scheme promises of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP)

With the party crossing the magic figure of 148 on its own, it does not need any party’s support to form the government. The Congress bagged 155 seats as results of 291 out of 294 assembly seats were announced by 5 p.m.

The Telugu Desam Party-led four-party grand alliance won 104 seats. Improving its position, the TDP won 89 seats while Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) had a disastrous performance winning only 10 seats. The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the other constituents of the alliance, together won five seats.

The PRP, which made its electoral debut, bagged 18 seats, far below than its expectations. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) got six seats while others including independents were elected won 13.

Despite the defeat of nearly a dozen ministers, state Congress chief D. Srinivas and speaker K. R.Suresh Reddy, YSR proved that there was no anti-incumbency against the government.

Unlike the main opposition TDP, which promised free colour television and cash doles to the poor, the Congress party sought vote on the welfare and development works taken by it during last five years.

YSR, who led the party to a landslide win in 2004 ending nearly a decade long rule of the TDP, had promised to continue free electricity to farmers, the ambitious “Jalayagnam” or building of irrigation projects, “Rajiv Arogyasri” or the community health insurance scheme, housing for poor, old age and widow pensions, scholarships and fee reimbursement to students belonging to weaker sections and Rs 2 a kg rice.

The initial trends indicated that the state was heading for its first-ever hung assembly but the ruling party improved its position as the counting progressed.

The TDP-led alliance has performed far below its expectations. The TDP, which had lost power to Congress in 2004 polls, had hoped to return to power with an alliance with the TRS and the two left parties.

The TRS, which had contested 2004 polls in alliance with Congress, had won 26 seats. The two left parties had together bagged 13 seats.

The TDP, however, improved its position as it had bagged only 45 seats in the last elections.

In the 2004 elections, Congress had bagged 185 assembly seats on its own. Its allies, including the TRS, CPI and CPI-M, had won 40 seats.

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