The ever shifting loyalties of politicians in Andhra Pradesh
Author is an upcoming Political Analyst based out of Hyderabad
Defections & shifting of loyalties are not an uncommon phenomenon in Telugu politics & is a common tactic of the ruling party to shore up it’s majority, expand it’s base & strengthen it’s structure on the ground. These defectors help strengthen the party in areas ranging from 1 constituency to 1 district & shore up the party base alongside their community/caste.
A good example is Operation Akarsh launched by YSR after he won in 2004. Another good example is what the TRS did in Telangana.
One of the reasons the TRS did so well in 2018 was because of the big political leaders it convinced to defect to them from the other parties – Erraballi Dayakar Rao, Tummala Nageshwara Rao, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, A.Indrakaran Reddy, Gutta Sukendher Reddy are some of those noteworthy names. Individual leaders who could influence outcomes in 1 constituency like Koneru Konappa(Sirpur) or B Malliah Yadav( Kodad) were also aggressively courted & won over. by the TRS.
These leaders with their followers started defecting to the TRS after it won in the 2014 assembly elections in TG.
From 2012 to 2014,both the YSRCP & the TDP got many leaders from the other party & the INC to defect to to them till now.
After the 2014 assembly elections where the TDP in alliance with the BJP won in AP, starting from 2016 Chandrababu Naidu decided to intensify his efforts to win over & get many leaders to defect from the YSRCP & the INC to strengthen his party.
The 2019 elections is an election that is important for the 2 major parties in AP:- the YSRCP & the TDP.
For Jagan Mohan Reddy, the leader of the YSRCP who has spent 9 years in opposition after he quit the INC. This is his do or die election, his party may be unable to stand 5 more years in opposition in AP seeing what was left of it in TG has been gobbled up by TRS. Add to that the numerous CBI & ED cases against him.
Chandrababu Naidu(CBN) has already spent 10 years in opposition before he came to power in AP in 2014.To continue his dream capital project of Amaravathi & to complete his other projects & schemes, he needs to spend another 5 years in power.
& an extra term in power would help him secure the future of his party in AP & to ease the path ahead for his son to lead the TDP one day. He knows what is left of TDP in TG stands a good chance of being erased out like the YSRCP if he doesn’t win this time.
Lok Sabha Seats in Andhra Pradesh
The way I see it, it is the TDP which has taken in the most leaders, many TDP supporters also agree that their party has taken too many leaders in many constituencies .
Thus the primary emphasis of this article will be about the TDP & the important leaders who have defected to it after the 2014 Assembly Elections:-
DEFECTIONs to the TDP:-
If you ask me, this is the biggest leader CBN has managed to win over,he is the 3 time MLA of Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district which is a YSRCP stronghold & possibly the tallest leader TDP has over there which was why he was made a Minister after defecting. As He was the one who made it clear in public that P. Sudhakar Yadav would contest from Mydukuru & not DL Ravindra as was expected , we can consider this that he is the one who CBN has given the responsibility of ensuring the victory of TDP candidates in this district
He has supporters & contacts all over Kadapa & was one of the reasons why B.Tech Ravi won the MLC polls(local body) from here(this was a huge shock for the YSRCP).
Impact:- Jammalamadugu AC is a stronghold of TDP now & Adinarayana has influence & contacts all over kadapa, he can give a good fight to YSRCP in the 7 assembly segments of Kadapa LS.
2)Sujay Krishna Ranga rao & the bobbili Royal family->
The scion of the Bobbili royal family & the MLA of bobbili, he has never lost from Bobbili since he entered politics on an INC ticket from 2004. He was among the first to join YSRCP when Jagan rebelled against Sonia. It was quite the surprise that he joined the TDP. It seems he was unhappy with Botsa Satyanarayana the once INC strongman from Vizianagaram joining the YSRCP despite his opposition to his entry.
Impact:-Has influence in and around Bobbili in Vizianagaram district, Bobbili AC is a sureshot victory for him.
3)Kishore Chandra Deo->
This longtime ex INC politician is an ex-Union minister & is well known among the tribals of North Andhra. He is expected to contest from Araku LS constituency this time which he previously contested from on an INC ticket the last 2 times. A strong candidate, he has a good name there & can win.
Impact:- Strengthens the ST votebase of TDP & can win from Araku LS, has many friends & contacts in Delhi
4)Kotla suryaprakash Reddy & his family->
Another ex INC politician & ex MP from Kurnool LS constituency. He got 1 lakh votes in this constituency in 2014 when the INC was wiped out all over AP. His family has been winning this constituency for the last 7 out of 9 elections! He is well known & has many followers, he will be the TDP MP candidate from Kurnool again
Impact:- strengthens TDP base in kurnool district & can win from Kurnool LS.
5)S.P.Y. Reddy & his family->
3 time & current MP of Nandyal, he won on an INC ticket the first 2 times & on a YSRCP ticket the 3rd time. He is a rich industrialist & his family has a good hold on Eastern Kurnool district & is well-known there.
Impact:- Strengthens the TDP in Nandyal LS & it’s 7 segments, has money power too.
6)Late Bhuma Nagi reddy & his family->
The Bhuma Family is another powerful family in the politics of Kurnool district. They were once part of the TDP, then they joined the PRP in 2009, shifted to the INC & then the YSRCP. They later defected to TDP when Bhuma nagi reddy was promised a ministerial berth by CBN. He passed away a few years ago & his entire family is in the TDP now. His daughter is the youngest minister in the cabinet & stands a good chance of winning again.His nephew is currently the MLA from nandyal
Though with their joining ,Gangula Prabhakar reddy & the Shilpi family who were their traditional rivals joined the YSRCP from the TDP
Impact:- Strengthens the TDP in Nandyal LS & it’s 7 segments
The Gottipati family is a powerful family involved in the politics of Prakasam district. Despite being deadly rivals Karanam Balram,the TDP in-charge of Prakasam district & his followers. They were invited to join the party by CBN. Gottipati ravi kumar is the current MLA of Addanki & stands a good chance of winning again if Karanam Balram doesn’t try & sabotage him.
Impact:-Strengthens the TDP in Praksam district & especially the assembly segments of Bapatla LS.
A recent invitee within the TDP, he is a well-known face in the West Godavari District & a very strong candidate for the Kakinada LS seat. He lost by a few thousand votes in 2014 when he was contesting on a YSRCP ticket & came 2nd on a PRP ticket in 2009.
Impact:- Has some popularity & is well-known in the West godavari districts, he got some of his followers from his caste(Kapu) with him when he joined the TDP, a strong candidate for the LS seat of Kakinada
He joined the TDP from the YSRCP a few years ago, you can also say that he returned to his old party after leaving it to join the PRP in 2009. He is an ex-MLA & ex-MP& the current chairman of the Kapu Corporation.
Impact:- Well known Kapu face in the Godavari Districts with some followers here,his joining strenghthened the TDP among Kapus
10)N Amarnath Reddy->
He rejoined the TDP from the YSRCP after he defected to the YSRCP before the elections.He is the current MLA of Palamaner & one of the defectors who was made a minister. He has grown in influence & power here & CBN has tasked him the responsibility of giving a good fight to the YSRCP in many of their stronghold constituencies if not victory.
Impact:- Strengthens the TDP in Chitoor District & a local Reddy leader.
There are many such leaders who have joined the TDP from other parties, muslim leaders like Jaleel Khan from Vijayawada & Attar Chand Basha from Ananthapuram, Tribal Leaders like the late K Sarveshwara Rao & his son , G eshwari from Uttarandhra, Dalit leaders such as David Raju of Prakasam district & Mani Gandhi of Kodumur.
S.V. Mohan Reddy from Kurnool city, Jyothula Nehru from Jaggampeta , K. Venkata ramana murthy of Pathapathnam Adireddy Appa Rao from Rajahmundry Urban, late Devineni Rajashehkar & son from Krishna district & finally Ugra Narasimha Reddy(Prakasam district-Kanigiri AC) are some important leaders who can influence the outcomes in these segments & surrounding regions.
Some more leaders supposed to join the TDP in the coming days include- Konathala Ramakrishna(BC leader from Uttarandhra),Sabbam Hari(Kapu leader from Uttarandhra),Gowru charitra Reddy from YSRCP(Leader in Kurnool district). Rumour mills suggest that even Lagadapati Rajagopal & Vangaveeti Radha(A kapu leader of Krishna district) too could join over soon!
Many TDP leaders are rivals/electoral opponents to the incoming leaders from other parties especially in the cases of Jammalamadugu(Ramasubba Reddy vs Adinarayana Reddy) , Kurnool district( K.E. family vs Kotla family) or Prakasam district( Karanam balram vs Gottipati ravi kumar) , but CBN has done a fine job juggling between the demands of both sides & keeping both within the party.
Many leaders who contested in 2014 but will not be given a ticket in 2019 for the sake of new entries have been given MLC/Rajya Sabha berths( T.G. Venkatesh is a prominent example) or nominated posts to placate them for the time being.
He has lost some leaders, but he has successfully retained most of them in case of the valuable ones.
Defectors to the YSRCP:-
YSRCP too has got significant leaders within their ranks from 2014 such as Botsa Satyanarayana(BC leader- Vizianagaram district) , Gangula Prabhakar Reddy & Shilpa Mohan Reddy who I referenced above & were opposed to bhuma family joining TDP(Nandyal LS) , Dasari Sai Ramesh(kamma leader- vijayawada LS) , Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao( Prakasam district), Jyothula Chantibabu(Jaggampeta AC) , Katasani Ramabhupal Reddy(Panyam assembly) , Killi Kruparani(Srikakulam LS) are some of these leaders.
Botsa Satyanarayana & his followers have provided a great boost to the YSRCP base in Vizianagaram, the YSRCP+INC votes combined gives most seats in Vizianagaram district to the YSRCP.
The already strong YSRCP base in nellore district has been strengthened with the addition of Anam Ramanarayana Reddy & the Nedurumalli family.
Chirala MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan & Rajampet MLA Meda Malikarjuna Reddy in my opinion are their most significant recent defections from the TDP recently as both of them were supposed to receive the ticket again. Raghurama Krishnam Raju too is a good catch & will be the Narasapuram MP contestant from YSRCP.
Some more TDP MLAs who will be denied tickets are expected to join YSRCP in the near future & vice-versa.
Chandrababu Naidu has on a whole done better than Jagan Mohan Reddy at securing more defections & leaders from other parties. But whether this will translate into the victory he desires is to be seen.