There are five national parties and two regional parties, besides some others, in the election battle in Andhra Pradesh this time. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are there fighting the battle alone. The CPI, the CPM and the Bahujan Samaj Party are tied-up with a regional party, Jana Sena, and testing their time. These five national parties have little stakes in this election, be it for Parliament or Assembly. They have no hopes of winning even a single seat anywhere in the State. However, they are in the fray and fighting the battle.
The BSP too is losing its hopes of winning any seat in the State, though is backed by the CPI, CPM and Jana Sena. However, the two national parties, the CPI and the CPM, are poised to win a couple of seats, if not more. The CPM is giving sleepless nights to the Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress in Vijayawada Central Assembly constituency. Perhaps it is because of the candidate, Chigurupati Baburao, who is strong among the voters and is a known face in the city, with his untiring fight for every cause of the people over the years.
The Jana Sena, which was believed to emerge as Karnataka’s Janata Dal (Secular) here by winning anywhere between 25 to 30 Assembly seats and emerge as strong contender for the chief minister post, is now reduced to a handful of Assembly seats. It was felt that Pawan Kalyan would be playing Kumaraswamy in Andhra Pradesh after the 2019 elections. But, those hopes have gone and his presence is limited to a few segments in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts. Those dreams of playing key role in the formation of next government in the State are washed out.
There is a small regional party in the State, which is posing a small threat of vote split for the Opposition YSR Congress. The party, Praja Shanthi Party of global evangelist K A Paul, is in the fray and it is trying to confuse the voters on two counts – the party’s poll symbol and its flag on one side and his candidates having same or similar names to that of the YSR Congress candidates on the other.
Paul, with a little influence among the Christian voters, is trying to attract the voters or rather confuse the voters with his flag that resembles the flag of YSR Congress. He is also posing a threat to the YSR Congress with the election symbol of helicopter that can be potentially mistaken as the symbol of YSR Congress. Interestingly, he fielded 4 Parliament and 37 Assembly candidates, whose names of same or similar to those of the YSR Congress candidates. But for this resemblance to the flag, symbol and names, he is not taken seriously by the people and is not a big threat to the two major parties.
It is to be seen what is in store for these five national parties and the two regional parties which are in the fray this time.