The unusual defeat of the YSR Congress party in the MLC elections in the graduates’ constituencies in north-coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema (east) district has led to serious discussions within the party.
According to sources, party president and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has taken serious note of the defeat in the two MLC seats, despite the selection of candidates at least six months in advance.
The Chief Minister entrusted the work to the local ministers and MLAs, besides the party in-charges in the regions, to ensure that the YSRC wins the seats with a comfortable majority. In fact, the TDP was lagging behind the YSRC in the selection of candidates and also in the campaign.
Sources said the YSRC leaders did not take the elections seriously and took the graduate voters for granted. They failed to sense the disgruntlement among the educated youth and take corrective measures in that direction.
Party seniors like Y V Subba Reddy, who was made in-charge of Visakhapatnam, and ministers Dharmana Prasada Rao and Gudivada Amarnath did not pay any attention to the MLC elections.
Most importantly, YSRC’s master strategist and Rajya Sabha member V Vijay Sai Reddy kept completely away from the MLC elections.
It is not known whether he was kept at bay by Jagan himself or he stayed away on his own, but that is also learnt to have made a lot of impact on the elections.
More than the north-coastal Andhra, the defeat in Rayalaseema (east) has caused major embarrassment to Jagan.
Even in Rayalaseema (west), the YSRC candidate is facing a tough time to win the seat when the reports last came in. If the TDP wins the seat, it will be a much bigger blow to the party.
According to sources, more than the changing mood of the urban educated voters, it is the lack of strategy on the part of the YSRC that is believed to have caused the setback.
Too much dependence on the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), hired by Jagan, is also said to be one of the reasons for this setback.
“In any case, it is a wakeup call for Jagan, who should immediately act and tie the loose ends,” sources said.