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Andhra Pradesh

Telangana is the 29th state of India, formed on the 2nd of June 2014 from parts of Andhra Pradesh. It was believed that the bifurcation of the state will be damaging to the other regions as most of the income of the state of Andhra Pradesh comes from Hyderabad and the execution of welfare programs would not be possible in other regions if the state is divided.

The first Andhra Pradesh (AP) general elections were held in 1956 in the state and it has participated in another set of general elections in 2014. The Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were generally the ruling parties in the state. Congress has ruled the state maximum times since the beginning of elections in Andhra. The Indian National Congress party won most of the state elections from 1953 to 1983.

In 1982, N.T.Rama Rao [popularly known as NTR] a popular film star in Telugu cinema, formed the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and swept the assembly polls held in 1983. Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who was then still in the INC, joined the TDP soon after. In the 1989 assembly election, Chandrababu Naidu contested from Kuppam and won by 5,000 votes. In 1989 the Congress came back to power with Marri Chenna Reddy as the chief minister and was in power till 1994.

In 1995-2004, as a Chief Minister, Naidu introduced many market-based reforms while at the same time formulating many populist schemes which none of his predecessors ever launched. IT and ITES sectors boomed during his tenure, giving rise to a separate state level IT policy. Heaps of files in government offices were cleared regularly and he brought about revolutionary changes in the solving peoples problems. He always believed in walking the talk and modernized administration by computerizing a number of government operations.

He made the administration run professionally as an efficient organization and came out with a Vision-2020 policy document for the all-round development of the state and implemented it with passion, be it in IT, bio-technology or tourism. Mr. Naidus vision included making Andhra Pradesh another Singapore. He launched initiatives which aim at achieving excellence in all walks of life and focus on community building through teamwork.

No political analyst expected either a voter turnout of 72 percent (15 percent higher than the national average) or the Congress party to reprise its remarkable victory of 2004 - when it upset the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to capture both the state government and 29 Lok Sabha seats, the largest Congress contingent of MPs from any state. Still Congress Chief Minister (CM) Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) never wavered from his prediction that in the 2009 concurrent national and state elections his party would increase its national tally to 34 Lok Sabha seats and that he would remain CM after Congress candidates won 230 of the 295 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

After the votes were counted on 16 May 2009, it became obvious that YSR knew the pulse of the people better than any analyst. Overcoming the traditional anti-incumbency factor, he once again `delivered Andhra Pradesh on a platter.' At the national level the electorate chose Congress candidates for 33 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats. The remaining seats were split amongst 4 other parties: TDP - 6, Telangana Rashtra Samathi (TRS) - 2, and the All India Majlis-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (MIM) - 1.

At the state level, 156 out of 294 Congress candidates won in their district, which represents a loss of 28 seats for the party. Still, this simple majority gives the Congress the opportunity to form a state government without the necessity of encumbering alliances. Even though the TDP doubled its seat tally from 46 to 93 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), its `Grand Alliance' partners fared poorly. The TRS won a mere 10 of the 44 seats it contested (down from 26 in 2004).

Over the past 50 years, politics in AP has traditionally revolved around two dominant rival castes/party nexuses - the Reddy/Congress and Kamma/TDP combines. However, political analysts observed that caste polarization became even more acute in this election as a third grouping - an alignment of the Kapu and Other Backward Class (OBC) communities - emerged in support of Chiranjeevi's PRP. Other parties are also closely affiliated with caste groups: the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is closely identified with Velama caste; and both Communist parties have a close affinity with the Kamma community who dominated the parties prior to the birth of the TDP.

In 2014 Elections, the Telugu Desam Party returned to power, in the state of Andhra Pradesh winning 102 seats out of 175 seats. Chandrababu Naidu led TDP to an outright majority in the state of Andhra Pradesh and took oath as the first Chief Minister of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh on June 8th 2014 at mangalgiri in the grounds of Acharya Nagarjuna University near Guntur.

Fourteenth Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, constituted on 20 May 2014, included the Telugu Desam Party with 103 members, the YSR Congress wih 66 members, the Bharatiya Janata Party with 4 members, and three independents.

BJP has no strength in AP to win on its own in the Assembly or Lok Sabha elections.



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