Unlike his Telangana counterpart, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is banking on the “Narendra Modi factor,” albeit in a negative way, to see him through both in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The political situation in Andhra Pradesh is in complete contrast to Telangana though both states were carved out after the bifurcation of the unified state following simultaneous Assembly and Parliamentary polls that were held in 2014.
But this time Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao decided to go for early Assembly polls, apprehending that all development work done by his government would be overshadowed by national issues, particularly the performance of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister if elections to Assembly and Parliaments take place simultaneously according to schedule.
Contrary to KCR’s plan, TDP is banking on the public hostility towards Mr Narendra Modi and the NDA government for the denial of special status to the state in order to win the Assembly elections and also secure enough seats in Lok Sabha polls in order to have better bargaining power vis-a-vis the next government at the Centre.
While Mr Rao is apprehensive that all his welfare and development projects, including irrigation projects and farmer’s investment support scheme, would be overshadowed by the larger issues of national interests Naidu and TDP are pinning the blame for the delay of his key projects on the failure of the NDA government to provide adequate funds and handhold their development agenda.
While the chief minister’s grandiose project of building a world class capital city is woefully lagging behind Naidu has blamed the delay in completion of Polavaram dam project on the Centre as well.
According to the chief minister, the Centre has delayed in releasing funds for the Polavaram dam which was slated for completion in 2019 despite being a national project. Hence the political parties in AP would fight upcoming elections on the plank of delay-in-development as well.
Moreover, Mr Naidu has been singed by early elections in 2004 when snap polls saw the exit of TDP for next 10 years along with the then NDA government at the Centre.
As the then chief minister of the unified state, Naidu had hoped to ride sympathy wave after a Naxalite attack on him and defeat the anti-incumbency factor. No wonder he does not want to advance Assembly polls even if the Lok Sabha elections are held early. In a recent meeting in Guntur he has clarified to his own partymen that though he supports simultaneous polls he does not want to advance Assembly elections.