AP municipal polls: Ruling YSRCP breaches Naidu’s Kuppam bastion

Hyderabad: The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh captured the Kuppam municipality in Chittoor district by winning 19 out of 25 wards, thereby driving a virtual nail in the coffin of the Telugu Desam Party in the constituency which is represented by its president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

The YSRCP, which had won one ward unanimously, was declared elected in 18 other wards in the Kuppam municipality that went to polls on Monday. The TDP ended up with just six wards.
The ruling party, headed by chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, laid special focus on Kuppam in the last two-and-a-half years of coming to power in AP, with a view to put an end to the political career of the TDP chief.

It had won 90 per cent of the seats in the local body elections in Kuppam held this year. In the gram panchayat elections held in February this year too, the YSRCP had won 75 out of 89 gram panchayats.

In the mandal parishad and zilla parishad elections held in April this year, the TDP won only three out of 65 mandal parishad territorial constituencies (MPTCs) and lost all the four zilla parishad territorial constituencies (ZPTCs) to the YSRCP in Kuppam constituency.

With the TDP conceding the defeat to the YSRCP in the municipal elections, too, the party has lost its base at all levels – from rural to urban. Wednesday’s defeat is a big psychological blow to Naidu, as it would hit the morale of the TDP cadre and it might be difficult for him to stage a comeback to win the assembly seat in 2024.

Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday also congratulated I&PR minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy over the positive results. In Vizag, the bypolls that took place at 31 and 61 wards due to the death of elected members were also bagged by the ruling party. TDP saw impactful success only at Darshi municipality in Prakasam district where winning 13 out of the 20 wards.

The Andhra Pradesh High court on Tuesday also directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to record footage of the counting process from the Kuppam Municipality and submit it to court. Heated-up election campaigning took place to win maximum municipalities and municipal corporations election as a matter of prestige by both major parties.