There are two major challenges before Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. One is to prevent Modi from coming to power at the Centre and the other is to come back to power in the State. If he achieves these two goals he will survive politically. If any of these goals is not achieved, he will face tough times. Will Chandrababu move cautiously? Will he do what he is told? This is being currently debated in the party. Chandrababu Naidu has already declared that after Sankranti he will announce the first list of candidates. He is discussing the feasibility of this with senior party leaders.
If this becomes complicated, Chandrababu will begin the exercise of picking up the candidates after the election notification is issued. He will continue announcing candidates till the deadline for filing nominations gets over. However, he himself stated that he will change his style this time. But it doesn’t look so. It is being said that he is retreating due to severe anti-incumbency against MLAs. In neighbouring Telangana, TRS chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced 105 candidates much in advance and emerged victorious. KCR had the confidence that people will vote by looking at him and he proved right.
However, this situation is not there in AP. There is a strong opposition. In the previous elections YSR Congress party narrowly missed the power. It is a fact that there is some anti-incumbency. There is no need to mention that sitting MLAs are facing more anti-incumbency. Babu has details like how many MLAs in a district are facing opposition from people. Through different surveys and based on the reports he received from the party, it is said that there is need to change about 40 MLAs. Will Chandrababu take this risk? What will be the consequences if in the present situation he turns 40 people into rebels? Doesn’t Babu know this? This was how a senior leader remarked.
Babu will select the candidates based on how much opposition they face and also on the basis of social equation. It is being heard in the party that in the first list he will declare 40 to 50 candidates while the remaining will be announced near the elections. Chandrababu has dismissed the argument of senior leaders that if announced early the candidates could go to people. “Will they go to people only during elections? Otherwise they won’t go? Convert Janmanhoomi programme into campaign.” This was how Chandrababu said to have replied. Considering this, according to sources in the TDP, the chances of announcing first list after Sankranti are remote. Then what will happen. Let us see.