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Five lessons for all from AP muncipal elections

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The results to Nellore Municipal Corporation and 12 municipalities are out. The TDP, which campaigned vigorously to salvage its prestige, ended up badly bruised and mauled. The ruling YSRCP scored impressive victories across the state. Here are the five major takeaways from the election results:

RAYALASEEMA ROOTS FOR JAGAN: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has shown his complete sway over Rayalaseema region. He has broken the back of the TDP in both Kuppam and Penugonda, which have never voted for any other party eve during the heyday of YS Rajasekhara Reddy. In both Kuppam, which is Chandrababu’s borough, and Penukonda, which was Paritala family’s citadel, YSRCP scored impressive victories. Kamalapuram, Betamcherla and Rajampet too returned YSRCP. The TDP washout is complete.

ALL IS NOT LOST FOR TDP: But it would be wrong to assume that all is lost for the TDP. TDP did well in the three municipalities in Krishna district. It tied with the YSRCP in Kondapalli and performed creditably well in Jaggayyapet. It has won decisively in Darsi of Prakasam district defeating the YSRCP. The victory is more convincing than the victory in Proddatur, which is largely credited to JC brothers. In Darsi, the three MLAs of the TDP – Eluru Sambasiva Rao, Ravi Kumar and Balanjaneyulu – worked for a common purpose. This united fight yielded results for the party.

TDP HAS A LONG WAY TO GO: Except for Krishna district, the TDP has a long distance to cover in AP. Dachepalli and Gurazala in Guntur, Buchireddypalem in Nellore and Akiveedu in West Godavari have rejected the TDP. The worst shock for the TDP is its inability to win even a single division in Nellore municipal corporation. Eight of the candidates had withdrawn from the contest at the last minute and thus these divisions were offered on a platter to the YSRCP. In the remaining 46 seats, it was a whitewash for the TDP.

JANA SENA, BJP NOWHERE IN PICTURE: Both Jana Sena and the BJP, which alliance partners, fought separately this time. It was a whitewash for the BJP. The party did not win even a single ward. Ditto with another national party – the Congress Party. Both the national parties have been washed away. The Jana Sena has, however, won two wards in the 12 municipalities. But, that’s not too encouraging for the party. These three parties will have to do some real serious rethink on their strategy.

FUEL PRICES A NON-ISSUE: The much touted petrol and diesel price hike is not an issue at all in these elections. The YSRCP posted these comfortable victories after openly announcing that it is not going to cut down on its share of the taxes on fuel. Despite that, the party won massive victories. So, fuel prices will not affect the electoral outcome at all.

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Municipal polls: Vijayawada, Vizag vote most expensive at Rs 2,000!

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As the campaigning for municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh has ended and polling will be held on March 10 (tomorrow), all the major political parties are competing in the distribution of money to voters.

The ruling YSRCP and Opposition TDP are engaged in a ‘do-or-die’ battle in municipal corporation elections and leaving no stone unturned to win these polls.

As the stakes are high, the parties are not hesitating to spend crores of rupees to lure voters ahead of polling.

As per reports, the ruling YSRCP is offering Rs 2,000 per vote for Vizag and Vijayawada municipal corporation polls.

AP CM YS Jagan wants to win this election at any cost to push TDP into further crisis.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu took up massive campaigning as if these are Assembly elections because a victory in these elections will revive TDP and push YSRCP into a defensive mode.

Reports of YSRCP leaders making online payments to voters, distributing saree jackets to women voters in which Rs 2,000 currency notes hidden are coming to light.

However, in other municipalities, the parties are offering Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per vote.

It is believed that these are the costliest municipal elections in AP so far.

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YCP close watch on ‘paid voters’ on poll day?

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Expectedly, more money is flowing in the present municipal elections in AP. The ruling YCP candidates are full of cash and they are able to sprinkle it in larger quantities than others. Obviously shaken at this, the TDP and other opponents are trying different methods to counter the money power of the YCP.

Against such odds, the contesting candidates are following their own ways to lure even the supporters of the rival parties with money. But, there will be some terms and conditions. The contestants are proposing to give Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 to each voter depending on the demand in different towns and cities. However, every voter who takes this cash should have to clearly show proof that they have fulfilled his promise to cast his or her vote in return for the money taken.

To ensure this, the agents of contestants are giving their own smartphones to the voters and are asking them to take photos of the ballot paper after ticking their choice. As such, this will serve as the most reliable method to confirm they have fulfilled the terms and conditions.

As of now, there is no clear rule against carrying a smartphone into the polling booth. It is also not clear whether the polling staff can object to taking photos of the ballot paper. The YCP is facing serious allegations of misusing this in the current polls.

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AP municipal polls: YSRCP’s ‘unanimous win’ or ‘forced win’!

The ‘unanimous victory tamasha’ in favour of ruling YSRCP continues in Andhra Pradesh even in the ongoing elections for municipalities and municipal corporations.

The unanimous victory show by YSRCP was started in recent gram panchayat polls where allegations of YSRCP leaders and cadre not allowing Opposition candidates to file nominations and threatening those to withdraw nominations if they have already filed.

The YSRCP on Wednesday won Punganuru, Macharla and Piduguralla municipalities even before elections were held. However, the AP Election Commission is yet to make a formal announcement on YSRCP victory.

This has become possible as no candidate for Opposition parties had filed nominations.

Opposition TDP charged YSRCP of resorting to threatening Opposition candidates of dire consequences if they file nominations.

In Punganuru municipality, the nominations for all 31 wards were filed by only YSRCP candidates.

In Macharla, only YSRCP candidates filed nominations for all the 31 wards.

Similarly, in Piduguralla, there were no others in the fray except YSRCP candidates for all the 33 wards.

While YSRCP leaders claim unanimous victory with the total support of voters, Opposition parties allege that YSRCP misused power to threaten Opposition candidates from contesting elections.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Cricket kits case against JC amid rising civic poll heat

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The battle for the municipal elections in AP has begun picking up momentum. Once again, the focus has shifted on the election violations. The police raided a TDP leader’s house and seized 60 cricket kits. Immediately, a case has been filed against TDP ex MLA JC Prabhakar Reddy for trying to offer inducements to the voters.
The distribution of benefits and cash have become an inseparable part of the elections. In the panchayat elections, the YCP gained an edge by using force to get unanimous results and also win most seats. Given this experience, the TDP, the Jana Sena and other parties are preparing to counter the ruling party game plans.
Amid this, State Election Commissioner Ramesh Kumar has once again begun his tours in the districts to take feedback for the civic polls. This time also, Ramesh is visiting Kadapa among other districts. At every opportunity, the SEC is making it compulsory to visit the Kadapa district obviously because it is the home place of the Chief Minister.
Right from the beginning, the Chief Minister has trargetted Ramesh Kumar by trying to get the elections postponed till after Ramesh Kumar’s retirement. Ramesh faced a tough time to ensure a fair election in the panchayat bodies. Now, the SEC is getting himself busy to ensure a free and fair poll to give a tough time to the YCP leaders in the civic bodies.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

TDP releases manifesto with 10 promises for municipal polls

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The principal opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), on Friday released a manifesto with 10 promises for the forthcoming urban local bodies elections.

“For the development of the towns, we released a manifesto with 10 promises. I request people to make TDP victorious in the municipal elections. If we win in the municipal polls, we will fulfill all the promises,” claimed TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh.

He released the manifesto along with party state president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu and Varla Ramaiah.

Rs 5 meals through Anna Canteen, waiver of old tax, cleanliness, biannual job fairs for unemployed youth, trash-less towns, toilets and permanent auto rickshaw stands for auto rickshaw drivers are some of the promises.

Other promises included setting up of self-help groups, houses for the poor, hiking sanitation workers’ salary to Rs 21,000 and free drinking water connection with zero tax.

“During the 21 months reign of Jagan Reddy, there was no development in the towns. Not even potholes on the roads were repaired by this inefficient government,” said Lokesh.

After giving one chance, he alleged that they (YSRCP) destroyed the state and if another chance is given, people’s lives will be destroyed.

The TDP leader appealed to the voters to think and vote.

Meanwhile, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu encountered an unpleasant situation in Kuppam constituency, where he is touring for the second day after the TDP aligned candidates massively lost out in the recent panchayat polls.

A person attending Naidu’s meeting shouted out to him to bring Junior NTR, a leading Telugu actor, into the party fold to which he just nodded his head.

Later, Naidu said he, Lokesh and other leaders will regularly visit Kuppam.

Incidentally, the actor’s photographs were also emblazoned on flexi posters, along with Nandamuri Harikrishna’s images among others, commemorating Naidu visit to his constituency which he has been representing for several years already.

Though Junior NTR canvassed for TDP in the 2009 polls, he did not repeat that act in the 2014 and 2019 polls and has been lying low politically for some years already.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

High Court green signal to SEC to hold municipal polls

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has given its go-ahead to the State Election Commission to conduct the municipal elections as per its recent notification. As such, the civil polls will now be held on March 10 and counting will be on March 14. The court has dismissed over 16 petitions which challenged the legality of the re-start of the civic polls after a year’s time.

The municipal polls were actually begun in March last year itself. But they were postponed at that time because of the Covid pandemic. Now, the petitioners claimed that it was not correct on the part of SEC Ramesh Kumar to go ahead with the restart of the elections without giving a chance to the new voters to take part in the election process.

The petitioners sought the court to issue an order to stall the elections and issue a fresh notification after duly taking into account the aspirations of the new young voters. However, the SEC lawyers contended that once an election process began, there was no chance to stall the same. The constitutional requirement was that it should be completed without fail.

Ever since the SEC restarted the local body elections, the YCP has been creating one hurdle or another. Now, the petitioners’ efforts to stall the elections went in vain.

With this, the stage is set for another tension-filled battle between the YCP and the TDP candidates with both the parties claiming having tactical and public support.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

CM letter to Railway Minister ahead of municipal polls

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The coming municipal elections are posing a huge challenge to the YCP leaders. CM Jagan has already ordered his party leaders to win 90 percent local bodies. The Vijayawada municipal corporation election has assumed greater significance. If the YCP wins this mayoral election, then Jagan Reddy can claim it as the people’s mandate in favour of his 3 Capitals plan.

Amid this, the Chief Minister has written a letter to the Railway Minister asking for handing over railway lands in Vijayawada city limits to the AP government. These lands are located in Rajarajeswaripet where over 800 families are living by encroaching the same. The CM told the Railway Minister that these families have been living in those lands for the last 30 years. If these lands were handed over to AP, alternative lands would be provided for the Railways in Ajitsinghnagar.

After this, much political heat has generated on what more plans the ruling YCP leaders are coming up with in order to win the Vijayawada municipal corporation polls.

At the same time, the rivals are saying that the CM’s letter would be just an eyewash considering the fact that it came just a few days ahead of the elections.

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Cancel municipal polls: petitioner to AP High Court

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Not a single day passes without some case being filed in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh relating to governance and elections. Today, a petitioner approached the court seeking an order canceling the notification given by the State Election Commission for the municipal elections. The court heard the arguments and postponed the next hearing for tomorrow.

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the Election Commission was wrong in going ahead with the election without having the latest electoral lists. He wanted the latest rolls of electors to be prepared and based on them, fresh elections should be held. This argument was nothing new. Already, a similar case was filed against the panchayat elections but the court did not stall the elections.

As per the latest notification, the elections are going to be held for 12 municipal corporations, 75 municipalities and nagar panchayats. The polling is to be held on March 10 and counting on March 14. This election was a continuation of the process that was initiated in March last year itself when the election was postponed on account of the Coronavirus infections.

The municipal elections are going to witness serious battles between the ruling YCP and the Opposition. Both the TDP and the Jana Sena are preparing for epic battles this time. If both the parties come to an understanding, the YCP will have to fight a losing battle in major corporations like Vijayawada, Vizag, Tirupati and so on.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Jana Sena demands fresh poll for municipalities

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State Election Commissioner Ramesh Kumar has only a limited time before his retirement. He has been speedily completing the elections that he started in March last year. As part of this, the Election Commission has issued a schedule to restart the postponed municipal polls last year.

Now, different parties are objecting to this. The Jana Sena Party has demanded the Election Commission to issue a fresh notification for the municipal polls. Jana Sena leader Nadendla Manohar has said that the SEC should review its decision considering the fact that the polls were postponed a year ago. It would not be correct to restart the democratic process of elections after a year. Only a fresh election notification would do justice to the people.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar has been facing hurdles since day one of the elections that were begun in March last year. At that time, the Coronavirus infections reached a peak when he postponed the elections. The SEC had to taste the wrath of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy whose Government later removed Ramesh from his post.

After nearly a year, the SEC started the elections with the approval of the court. Even now, the political parties are unhappy that the SEC was not conducting the elections in a democratic manner.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Municipal polls schedule released, March 10th election, 14th counting

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State election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh released the schedule for municipal polls today. The elections will be held for 75 municipalities, 12 corporations and Nagar panchayats. Details as below.

As per the schedule, elections will be held on 10th March, and the counting of votes will happen on 14th March. 3rd March is the deadline for withdrawing nominations. These elections were supposed to be held last year but postponed due to Corona pandemic. Now SEC decided to continue the polls from where the process was halted. Unlike Panchayat elections that were conducted without party symbols, these elections will be conducted on party symbols. So the announcement of these elections is expected to raise political heat in the state.

We need to wait and see how political parties respond to this announcement.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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