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Srinivasulu and Prakash Sarangi Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 34, No. 34/35 (Aug. 21 - Sep. 3, 1999), pp. 24492458 Published by: Economic and Political Weekly Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4408340 . Accessed: 08/03/2011 10:28
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comprising bulkof agriculimportant controlledvillage po.While the continuityis transparentin thedominant of presence theTelugu Desam Party (Naidu) (TDPN) and in Congress(I) thestatepolitics.The scheduledcastes (SCs). They were politicallyactive during had pressiverule.turallabourare presentall over the state. Telangana regions. Each interests politicalandeconomic spheres. THE political scenario in the post-N T RamaRao phaseof AP politicshas been characterised by both continuity and change. they madigas.The Andhra the other hand. Both the TDP and the Congress experienced seat changes and swings in their vote margins in 1998 elections with the BJP deriving some benefit from this.5 per cent of the populaliticallydominant sourceof theirpowerhas been tion.The otherbackward districtsandthe poorand castes (OBCs) comprising46. The voters have accepted Chandrababu Naidu as NTR's successor. but their state's populationhave their distinctive Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28.andhence. The communities. There of realisation of three ofTelangana.They are not an been in the forefront of the people's economicallypowerfulgroup. the kapus. negligible. The the Telangana Rayalaseema and regions.5 and 4. view is thatthe 1996 The orchestrated and 1998 Lok Sabha elections.Theseatchangesandincreased vote margins witnessedin theseelections betweenthe TDPN and the Congress(I) on the one hand and between them and the BJPon the otherhavebeen attributed in the popular pressto the local specificities.andrajusareimportant an agitation the Telugu.andbetweenthemand the Congress(I). 1999 2449 .bytheCongress whoconstitute they are in a positiontoday to challenge ning.to a significant extent in state politics sequentupon by speakingpeople for a separatestate of thoughthey are confinedonly to smaller their own.thechange is something defiesprecisecharacterithat sation.ruralareas. business. The Andhrastate itself con.comprising theydo. of limited of reading thesignificance these elections. keenly Desamgroups contested therival by Telugu . constitutea very large proportion the Andhra Pradesh Thusthepresent comprises state's population[Reddy 1989].TDPN and TDP Lakshmi Parvati (TDPLP) for the politicallegacy of N T RamaRao (NTR). has been processof gradual regions geographical coastal Andhraand Rayalaseema. are graduallyemergingas a politiimportant theircontrolover land [Elliot 1970]. on the other hand. i e. are of the Nizambecamea partof the Indian dominant in primarily thecoastaldistricts union as a resultof the police action in and their influence in other regions is 1948. Among the other forward 1953 by separating Telugu-speaking class peasantcastes. Pradesh formed was ThestateofAndhra inNovember 1956.small. was formedin October few decades.have settled the social forces between the TDPN and the as Congress(I) two majorplayersin the This view couldbe a very politicalarena.state policies outcomes. stateon theirinfluencehasdeclinedduring last the strugglein this area. But the OBC. a mere3 per longed struggleagainstthe Nizam's op.Similarly. September underthe leadershipof the Communist The brahmins are numerically very as Partyof India (CPI). and have continued to accept him as such even after he moved away from some of NTR 's policies. In the courseof timetheyhave Andhra Pradesh has 6 per cent tribal which is largelyconcentrated into their expanded activities otherspheres population of the economy. in the forest areas of the Andhraand the contractsand industry[Upadhya 1988.This is a consequence the process of economic development. state the Hyderabad whichwas under rule The kammas. most constituting15. had waged a pro.a region nineTelugu-speaking districts of of the erstwhileHyderabad statewith the dominance is noticeable especially in 11 districts of the Andhra state.1 per cent coastalAndhra of districts Rayalaseema of backward region. Muslims 1997].cent.transport. The reddys are distributedin all who constituteabout 8 per cent of the the three regions of the state.TheCongress Party also nationalistmovement. What is lost sight of in this crass empiricism is the possibility that the volatilityevidentin the electoralperformance of dominantpartiesin the postNTR period could be symptomaticof deeperchangesin theirsocial bases. only 6.velamas the castesthatmatter districtsof the Madraspresidency.Political in Realignments Post-NTR Andhra Pradesh K Srinivasulu Prakash Sarangi The volatility of the electoral performances of Telugu Desam Party and Congress in the post-N T Rama Rao Andhra Pradesh could be symptomatic of deeper changes in their social bases.by merging Telangana . Caste has been the basis of political and expansionof educational opportunipursued grouping and mobilisationof electoral ties andthe politicsof patronage Thus Gandhi. ST and Muslim supporters of TDP have shown some unease recently.pocketsin termsof theirnumerical pressisted of two regions:the rich and fertile ence and influence.Reddysandkammas.Here is an attempt made.con. As cally salientgroup. Indira under supportin the staterightfromthe begin. Electoralterrainis not merely a fieldof contestamongpoliticalparties for also powerbutsignificantly a siteof partiand classes cipation articulation popular by of theirinterests aspirations their and (and co-optationby competingparties).amongthesecasteswhichbecameincreasregion'shistory. socio-economic develop.The two mostnumerand the majorlandholders occupantsof ous castes among them.Thepeopleof Hyderabad.8 per cent of the state's the traditionallandowningcastes in the populationrespectively.by locatingthesetwo elections in a historical perspective.the precise form and character of which is yet to crystallise.at the reading electoralfluidityas indicative of of a realignment social forces carving artiout politicalspace for an alternative culation. have traditionally liticallife.leach their numericalstrengthand collective in with its distinct regional profile. the malas and the positionsin the villages.are the two po. ment and politicalcultureare invariably ingly visible in the post-emergency peof reflected in the electoral processes and riod.
6 per cent and its vote share varied from 46.5 56. of Pradesh theformation Andhra state. Republican Party of India.7 43.9 64. The Congress Party maintained its absolute supremacy for almost two and a half decades.3 percent seats andbetween 39.0 46.4 1.the Congress Party was consolidating its in position by accommodating its fold.0 14 37 34 35 28 41 41 6 portof marginalised groupslikebackward castes. It was a sequel to the intra-party factional conflictandrepeated 'diktat' from the 'high command'leadingto frequent changes of chief ministers. The left. It was the clash of personalities among Congress leaders which was reflected in several powerful agitations in the state: for a steel plant during the mid1960s. there was in ideologicalconfusionand uncertainty the communist campas a resultof Soviet Union'ssupport the CongressParty's for formalcommitment createa 'socialist to of pattern society'.7 3. the Conan issue gressvirtually hijacked important of the left agenda.2 7.Theoverallchanges.displayedtremendous and the dynamism politicaltactin tackling challengesfacing it.1 51.impacton the politics of the Telangana and Rayalaseema regions. raising by the aspirationsand expectationsof the social groupsand commumarginalised nities.9 40.4 percent.4 56.openedup a new phaseof political contradictions. Socialist Party. In the six Lok Sabha elections during this period. when it was completely routed in almost every corer of the country. splinter groupswhichhadearlierdefected from the party. These agitationsalso partly symbolised a struggle for power among different strataof society. Added to these factors. its share of seats in the state varied from 68.0 1.2 44. and ationally.0 11. In the early yearsof this independence. a regional party emergedwith a proclaimed objectiveto Others _ Party Seats Vote PDF PDF BJS CPM TPS CPM INCU TDP 7 2 10 1 30 28.Indira s landed Gandhi' populismand radicalrhetoric.2 2 7 1 1 1 12.Further. It is interesting to note that the Congress Party did not lose its dominance in any of the elections. 2450 Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. and of comprising thecommunists different shadesof socialists. startingfrom the state's first election in 1957 (Tables 1 and 2). Congress the regimesoughtto address crucialagrarianandlandquestions to brought thecentre of Indian politicsby theagrarian struggles of the 1940s. In the five elections to the legislative assembly during this period.7 59.it hadbeenweakened ideologicallyit got diffusedas a resultof successive splits following serious disputes on crucialpolitico-ideological questions.4 14. Majlis-e-IttehadulMuslimeen.Thus caught up in the contradictions intensefactionalism and a reflection of the contradictions the Congress under IndiraGandhiincreasof ingly resortedto centralisation power: at the politicalorganisational level in the high commandof the party and at the level in thecentre. On the contrary.7 68.In part. the Congress Party's performance during this period was significantly better than thatof any other political party. Indira Gandhi'spopulist radicalism and political strategy of mobilisation and of accommodation marginalised groups in was instrumental increasing social the polarisationalong both caste and class lines. In contrastto the left.3 per cent and 52. conThe governmental sequenceof this processwas the erosion of regionalleadership initiative.especially the Krishikar Lok Party of N G Ranga and Kisan Mazdoor of It Party T Prakasam.Apart from the communist parties. and rallying the supYear Total Turnout Seats (Per Cent) INC Seats 1952 1957 1962 1967 1971 1977 1980 1984 25 43 43 41 41 42 42 42 44.3 4. Praja Socialist Party.5 48. andjagirdari tenancy andlandreform the legislations.1 62. II Emergence of Telugu Desam Party The 1980s broughtaboutan important changein the politicalhistoryof the state. on organised a linguisticbasis.like the zamindari abolition.0 21.9 2. 'Vote' is per cent to total votes cast. not even in the 1967 election when it lost power in as many as eight states nor in the 1977 election.8 Notes: Remaining seats and vote have gone to either other minor parties or independents.3 6. Thus.7 7. dalits.8 55. The Congress Party's sterling electoral performance during this period however.8 32. for a separateTelangana in the late 1960s and the Jai Andhra movement in the early 1970s. By conceding the demand for the 'Vishalandhra' state.3 per cent votes.4 5. throughdifferentagrarian reformmeasures. The CongressPartytasteddefeatfor the first time in the electoralhistoryof the state. This not only led to the breakdown of the traditionalpatron-client relationships at the local level but also pavedthe way forthedeclineof thepoliticalcontrol of dominant castes. the Jan Sangh. the Congress this during period.9 69.5 percent and76.as witnessed by four changes in a five-year period precedingthe 1983 assembly elections.2 41.2 11. induced by the earlier agrarianradicalism and state havesubstantially subsequent reform altered agrarian thus the structure leading to the decline of the supportbase of the left. 1999 .9 13.Theirfailureto evolve into an alternativestrong enoughto displacetheCongof After ressis aninstance a lostpossibility.its inability to channelise the politicisation of communities marginalised openedupnew political possibilities. its internal factionalism. Several of Indira Gandhi's initiatives in introducing socioeconomic programmes aimed at addressing the interests of. region had witnessed a credibleanti-Congress ideological articulation and popular vote.thisconfusion and uncertainty both a cause and an was effectof the splitin the partybetweenthe CPI and CPI(M).7 1.3 per cent to 97.was the mainstay of this oppositionboth in the Telangana state and Andhra region of Hyderabad state. was also trying very hard to win over sizeable support from the Muslim community which was disenchanted afterthe police action and the merger of Hyderabadin the Indian union. conceals a major weakness. it won between 57.8 TABLE LOK 1: SABHA ELECTION JNP CPI+CPM BLD (1977) SWA (1962-71) Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote 1 3 1 1 14.The and failureof the CongressPartyto accommodatecontendinginterests. It is against this that of background theemergence theTDP in AP has to be appreciated. the other parties which contested elections at different phases but had only a marginal influence on the state's politics were the Swatantra Party.In the meanwhile.7 57.the declinebothorlefthasregisteda gradual and Organisganisationally ideologically. it sent a record number of 41 members to the Lok Sabha in 1977. As a reaction thesecentralising to tendencies in the Congress.8 per cent to 57. tribalsand women. Congress (0) andJanataParty. I Era of Congress Dominance The dominanceof the CongressParty in the politicalhistoryof Andhra Pradesh continued for uninterrupted threedecades till it was upsetby the TDP in the 1983 assemblyelections.
Thoughthe of the revoltof a sectionwithinthe TDP in CongressPartycame backto powerit did 1984.0 0. enjoyed greatercredwith ibilitythanmostmenlongassociated publiclife" [Reddy 1989]. which he claimed had been lost duringCongress rule. the TDP swept the polls capturing mendedthe dissolutionof the assembly a massive 217 seats (251.His Year 1957 1962 1967 1972 1978 1983 1985 Total Seats 301 300 287 287 294 294 294 Turnout 73.3 cal communication.3 percentvotes(Table3).the represent interestsof Telugupeople. the CongressPartysecured39 belongingto the rivalreddycaste.3 39.Out of a total of 39 SC people NTR initiated administrative seats.It contested77 seats.4 17.7 2. The next assembly and Lok Sabh: NTR's entry into politics also altered elections wereheld in 1989.the reforms. Party (BSP)intotheelection inAndhra fray An event of criticalsignificanceto the Pradesh. rural TDP increasedits share to 13 seats and poor and women by means of several 32.the Congress.the Congresscould secureonly 50 region.6 3.6 63.1 65.NTR. 1999 2451 . The TDP won 202 seats Congress outof a totalof 294. in whichthe thetraditional castecalculusin the state's TDP lost its dominantposition to the electoral caste. NTR's not seem to have learntanything fromits finance minister.in theLokSab-ha though there were six chief ministers elections. only 74 seats. chief ministers. Startingwith the the sloganof protecting 'self-respect' of the Telugu people. more than what it had bagged in per cent of the Congress.5 use of cassettes. who was a newpoliticians.6 2.6 per cent votes.4 9. which provided seats. Out of a total of To rateof electricity thefarmers. to makethebureaucracy to responsive the constituencies.7 67.back to power in the 1994 elections.He reachedout to the masses by personally touringthe state aboardhis 'Chaitanya Ratham' a campaign vehiclefittedwith gadgetslike a publicaddresssystem. she herself emerged as the key patron.it won 28.6 INC Vote 41.couldneversecurea chief aftera gap of seven years.talukaand panchayatsamitis.with 41. Nadendla Bhaskar Rao. Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. With this massive mandate. he wentonto unfoldhisspecificprogrammes to promote welfareof the Telugus.InTelangana region.'patel-patwaris'. similar was in pattern discernible the 1984 Lok Sabha elections which followed shortly.5 7. the TDP won 105 seats out of a seats.7 47. if the shareof and fresh elections were conducted in its allies. CPM.This time NTR enteredinto a total of 292 seats for which elections seat adjustmentswith non-Congress(I) were held.0 46.The latterbagged 181 seats politics. becameverypopular He withhis TDP won 69 seats out of a total of 107 subsidisedrice scheme.1994.3 46. The vote shareof TDP and its NTR's TDP corneredas many as 202 allies was 49.after dramaticdevelopmentsat the state and nationallevels.But he recom. comparedto the Conto wentaheadwitha vengeance introduce gress Party'spoorperformance securin his welfare schemes and administrative ing only 10seats. comer to politics.8 2.could becomea rallying whereas pointforthe kammagroupsby providing 34. This positionof the them with an opportunity realisetheir CongressPartysuffereda setbackin the to and their 1991Lok Sabhaelection whenit won 25 politicalambitions demonstrate He potentialities.He was re.5 per cent votes.The TDP won ministership duringthe Congressregime.2 PSP BJS STPS CPM CPM CPM Seats 14 3 1 8 5 11 Vote 5.A the heroon the celluloidscreen mythological was transformed a real life hero of into themasses.NTR total of 133 seats.The CPI and CPMgot fourand five seats respectively.Similarly. posters and cut-outs decentralisation dismantlingrevenue by new symbolised modesof effectivepoliti.The Congresscouldsecureonly six rice at Rs 2 a kilo for the pooranda slab seats.6 37.2 The Congress Partysecuredonly six seats out of a total of the 42 it contested. This trend initiated the process of of 'depoliticisation' partyworkerswhich ended in loss of credibilityof Congress Thus.6 0.Thekamma has come to play a dynamicrole in the in the assemblyand came backto power stateeconomy.0 28. The CongressPartywon only partieslike CPI.6 7."While Indira Gandhi style ties brokepatron-client at the local level.which Congress(I).8 2. triedto createa support seats and 45.2 to seats. whereasthe TDP got 30 out of the 34 seats it contestedwith 44.NTR abolishedthe vil. launchedthe TDP on March 29.These factorsin a signifrom NTR went back to the masses with an ficantsensecontributed theTDP's cometo to 'save democracy'.1 69. CPI andCPM.8 percentvotes (Table1).8 per cent votes.5 percentcompared 33. This was in spite of a sympathy wave in favour of the of Congress(I) followingtheassassination IndiraGandhi. The emergenceof NTR as a political force not only changed the course of but politicaldevelopments also the very ofpolitics itself.5 72. Janataand BJP. While the base among the backwardcastes. NTR. but could consolidation NTRin statepoliticswas not secureeven a single seat.8 6. Only one seat went to the Janata Dal andthreeto theBharatiya Janata Party (BJP)(Table2).9 68.is added)out of March1985.7 JNP SWA (1962-72) Seats Vote 19 29 2 60 1 3 10.It continuedwith the old of and became the chief ministerwith the culture internal bickerings factional and of support the Congressafterhavinggot conflicts resultingin frequentchangeof NTRdismissed thechiefministership.8 Party PDF SOC CPM CPM INCU TDP TDP Seats 22 2 9 1 30 202 202 Others Vote Party 7. while the Congresswon TABLE VIDHAN 2: SABHA ELECTION Seats 187 177 165 219 175 60 50 CPI Seats Vote 15 51 i 7 6 4 11 22.revolted against NTR past mistakes.2 19. out of 42 seats and 51 per cent votes a TDPsecured meretwoseatsand being a kamma. Thiselection also of populistpolicies andby facilitatingtheir marked theentry theBahujan Samaj in accommodation the power structure.The TDP also established and its strong presence in the SC and ST lageofficerssystem. N T Rama Rao. the lowest ever. 1982 whichwithinninemonthsof its formation in emergedvictorious the 1983 assembly electionsby successfully rallyingthenonvote. appeal in In the assemblyelectionsof December instated powerwithina monthbecause of massivepublicprotest.5 2.9 1. strike 52 seats in the Rayalaseema for region.In the coastal 1983. For the firsttime a nonwas A Congressgovernment established. a popular film star.3 Notes: Remaining seats and vote have gone to either other minor parties or independents.1 1.7 2.0 2. whereas Congress the Partycouldsecureonly 60 seats. the at an important institutional base TDP secured40 seats compared 10 of to support of the Congress. 'Vote' is per cent to total votes cast.4 52.0 2.He usedtheTelugusentiment very well duringelectioncampaigns.3 45. 25 seats.3 33.
3 0. was keenly looking forwardto the Lok Sabhaelectionsin orderto establish hiscredibility provehisclaimof being and thetrueandrightful politicalheirof NTR.wantedto prove that the mandate of the 1994 assembly elections was for NTR and that the same electors would legitimise her own choice as NTR's political heiress.7 70. politicalpowerto 'bahujans' that Therewasanticipation theBSPwould of be ableto cut intothe fortunes boththe Congress(I) and the TDP [Srinivasulu 1994].5 12 32.9 1 1.therewas also a clearshift of Muslimvotes fromthe Congressto the TDP. evidencedin her as (lion's 'SimhaGarjana' firstpublic meeting roar) in Vijayawada. many confidentlyprepolitical commentators dictedthatshe mightsweepthepolls.4 5 1.9 1 1.3 0. The entryof BSP into state politics in the a big way during 1994 assemblyelections raisedsome hopes of a thirdforce in the state.5 71. 18.000 votes.2 217 43.It couldbe becausethe Muslimsin and thestateheldtheCongress(I) theBJP for equallyresponsible the demolitionof the Babrimasjid.He got a shot in thearmwhentheElectionCommission recognisedhis factionof TDP as the real TDP and was renamed TDPN.by addingto thisher own oratorial skills.8 66.NTR's as TABLE 3: ELECTORALOUTCOME OF RECENT ELECTIONS Lok Sabha (Total Seats: 42) Vidhan Sabha (Total Seats: 294) 1994 1989 1991 1996 1998 1989 70.the Congress campaign that these welfare cut programmes into developmentalexpendituredid not cut much ice.andOBCs.5 1.Thechiefreasonforthiswas against the perception among NTR's family membersof an increasingpoliticalhold NTR's biographer of LakshmiParvathi.7 2 2.6 2.Crucial theanalysis of this appealare the statewidewomens and movements againstarrack thedilution of the subsidisedrice schemeduringthe Congressrule(1989-94). Chief ministerNaidu.0 22 38.His and his party'sdestiny dependedon the outcomeof these elections.0 2.0 1 0.4 25 45.saw an internecinestrugglein its rank and file which finally culminated in the coup NTR.3 2 2. 1996the politicalscenarioin the state changedsignificantly.however. was unprecedented. 1999 .All the 14 ST seatswerecaptured theTDP by and its allies. mostof whomvoted for the TDP.9 4 18.2 8 2. especially the women voters in ruralareas. These promisescould capturethe imaginationof the weakersections.had alreadywalked of awaywiththe support the rankandfile to of the party. over NTR. Though this coup resembled the one engineeredby NadendlaBhaskarRao in 1984.2 63.especially to theSCs.Buthis thoritarian attitude Kanshi the to attempt organise votesof theweaker sections underone bannermight have a lastingimpacton the state'spoliticsin the future.5 1. Indeed.4 I 1.4 181 47. turned-second wife. got four and five seats respectively.As a result.But the absenceof any capableorganiseror in strategist herpartywho couldtranslate the sympathyfactor into votes was her majordisadvantage.successof fully ralliedthe support 190MLAsand from chiefministerthe forced NTRtoresign ship. a combination of both the to schemesappealed the electorate.onlytwo.0 12 10.In fact.0 2 34.2 74 36. by supported family members. with the power of state in government hand.8 15 6.8 1. Thus by the accidentof circumstances as Lakshmi Parvathi emerged anewplayer in Andhra Pradesh politics.0 22 39. an astutepolitician.7 2 2. III NTR's Legacy and 1996 Elections Crucialto the analysisof the 1996Lok Sabha electionin thestateare:theremoval of N T RamaRaofromchief ministership in August1995andhis deathfourmonths later.4 1 0. On the contrary. Her only sympathy politicalcapitalwasthepopular at NTR's demise:she carvedout a niche forherself.AfterNTR's comebackto powerin 1994.5 4 2.4 39 51. NTR's earliertenureas chief minister(1983-89) for was remarkable its maintenanceof communalharmony.6 61.8 1 0. NTR's son-in-law.Only 12 candidates morethan5. with NTR's deathon January Further. allotmentof house sites andthe supplyof subsidised janatacloth.theTDP's allies.Itcouldnotwina singleseatthough it contestedfrom 218 constituencies. subsidisedrice.0 0.He was determined show that the TDP electoratewere also with him. of JanataDal threwtheirweight behind her. generated STs and OBCs by raisingthe slogan of (majority).1 11. followed by 'Ugrashankharavam'(clarion call) in Almostall the national leaders Tirupathi.6 13 32. She went roundthe stateexhortingpeople to undothe injustice meted out to her husbandand vanPublicresponse quishthe 'back-stabbers'. this time therewas neithera sympopular pathetic pressnorany significant protestto bring NTR back into power.4 1 2.andhimselfassumedthe leadership of both the party and the government. all candidatesexcept one lost their couldsecure deposits.Lakshmi Parvathi.8 3. benefits from developmental are programmes not likely to be as tanas thosefromwelfareschemes.0 2.he was to face elections for the first time as the leaderof his party.9 1 2. BSP supremoKanshiRam initialeuphoria amongtheSCs.6 1.9 13 2.CPIandCPM.That gible were mostof these subsidyexpenditures extractedfrom the excise revenues and thattherecouldbe a difficultyin continuing eitherthe welfareschemesor NTR's did new sloganfor total prohibition.1 i.4 1 2. 2452 Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28.5 Note: 'Vote' is per cent to total vote cast. headingthe NTR factionnow namedTDPLP.Added to this. Nara Chandrababu Naidu. not registerin the minds of voters. In the 1994elections. The failureof the BSP to takeoff in thestate'spoliticscould in to be attributed the disenchantment the ranksbecause of the arroganceand auof Ram. Strategicto the TDP's overwhelming victory in the 1994 assembly elections were the promises of prohibition.6 1 9.7 4.8 2.6 6 2. In any case.5 1 1.6 2.6 5.The family memfor bers.Giventhispoliticalscenario. the TDP which had all along apunder as organisation peared a monolithic the total grip of the supremo. Naidu.7 16 32.who hadearlier quarreled power.9 21 3. now started fightingnot only for his dead but bodyandproperty alsoforhispolitical legacy.on the conParties Year Turn-out INC TDP JD BJP CPI CPM MIM Others IND Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote Seats Vote trary.0 25 33.1 3 3. even if it was only to show respect to the departedleader of the National Front.
She appealed to the emotions of the voters by playing a recorded speech of NTR which called Naidu and his group of MLAs 'traitors'. was also allotted to Naidu. the first election in the post-NTR phase.5 13. In fact the Congress Party has been commanding a solid votebank in Andhra Pradesh. not even by showing a clipping from NTR's press conferences denouncing his son-in-law. 1999 2453 . While Parvathi imbibed many aspects of NTR's style of campaigning. While NTR's photograph found a place on the cover of Naidu's election manifesto. She invariah. she asked the people to vote for her new 'lion' symbol because the bicycle has been stolen by the thieves.NTR clearly hoped to repeat this performance during the Lok Sabha elections.4 12. He freely used NTR's portraits and speeches to whip up voter enthusiasm. SeveralofNTR' s key organisersatthe local level had already deserted her and she had very few effective middle level leaders. the party's performance in AP was watched all over the country and hence the political stakes for the Congress Party were quite high. 1996. But for his struggle. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the more the division in the TDP votes. projected herself as anti-Naidu and nevec as anti-Congress. Andhra Pradeshbeing the home state of P V Narasimha Rao. which was an ally of the TDP in the 1991 elections. 'anti-Congressism'. It did. she con- veniently forgot NTR's most importai:. But he tried to make up by using the privatesatellite channels to reach the electorate in remote villages.0 57.3 49. CSDS. (Per cent) TABLE PRE-POLL 4: SURVEY RESULTS Support for Prohibition among Political Party Supporters Approving Disapproving 44. following NTR's practice. the CPI and the CPM. He tried to prove time and again that he was continuing with the populist welfare policies associated with NTR.8 28. She proved to be a great crowd puller. Parvathi's as earlierexperience a 'Harikatha9 artiste helped her to captivate the masses. The BJP and MIM have their major support bases only in the HyderabadSecunderabad area. Lakshmi Parvathi. The BJP has been trying to expand its support base and had contested in 40 constituencies in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections but could win only the Secunderabad seat. But it was expected that minute caste calculations in the state could overturn the hindutva plank of the BJP. which have been sailing with the TDP since 1984. He tried to galvanise the civil servants to create an impression that his is a responsive administration. win an appreciable numberof votes in many constituencies. But the sudden demise of NTR and the developments in the TDP camp considerably brightened the prospects of the Congress(I). As a result. The left parties.In her 'TarakaRama Chaitanya Ratham' . By supporting Naidu they could get not only easy access to him but also by allying with the TDPN retain at least the two seats they hadin the lastLok Sabha. of 'anti-Congressism' got considerably diluted. 22 of which were won after the assassinationof Rajiv Gandhiin the middle of the election process and hence with a possible sympathy wave. had fared miserably and had hardlyany organisational strength left to activate itself in 1996. He made his MLAs personally supervise the party's campaign in their respective areas. 1996:66).8 Beneficiaries of Rice Scheme Beneficiaries 38. She sought help from the people for what she called 'Naraasura Samhaaram'. Naidu's oratorial skill and crowd pulling capabilities were poorer compared to that of Parvathi.Though she lacked the electrifying appeal of NTR. About one-third of the voters were committed Congress supporterswho have lent support to the party in the successive elections since 1983 whether there was an NTR wave or not. "ChandrababuNaidu is an astute politician. He consolidated his position by deciding to give 10 lakh new cards for subsidised rice and distribute forest land to the poor through the cooperatives. especially in ruralareas. Political contestation as far as the rival Telugu Desam groupswere concerned was for the political legacy of NTR. I will never forget his services" (India Today.5 45. The JanataDal. Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. sided with Naidu. This was in spite of the fact that winning a sizeable number of seats from the state was very crucial to the party's overall strategy of retaining power at the centre. In fact.67 per cent. the better would be the performance of the Congress. experience or sane advice to convert the sympathy irnto votes.a modified version of the campaign vehicle made famous by NTR . Parvathi did nothing to counter this propaganda. Itwas evident that she lacked the knack.she travelled throughout the state holding big rallies as well as street corer meetings.2 13. That Naidu benefited from the continuation of NTR's policies of prohibition and subsidised rice scheme is clear from Table 4. The 1996 elections. ever since he launched the TDP. especially in the Telangana region. the bicycle. Naidu on the contrarydisplayed meticulous planning and execution of electoral strategy.5 13. especially the one NTR made after his reinstatement as chief minister in 1984.election symbol.8 Non-Beneficiaries 53. the Telugu Desam would not have been reborn. NTR' s main political plank. For example. The Congress leadership was so assured of success that it made hardly any efforts to patch up its internal dissensions. however. He tried his best to continue all the populist policies associated with NTR. Government programmes like 'prajalavaddakupaalana' (goverment to the doorsteps of the people) and 'shramdanam'(contributorylabour) were used as vehicles to reach out to the people. In the Lok Sabha elections of 1991 the Congress Party had won only 25 seats. This was to turn out in favour of the Congress(I). which means elimination of the demon Nara (referring to Nara Chandrababu Naidu).Thattheirgamble paidoff was clear from later developments.6 33. differentphases of CSDS pre-poll surveys4 revealed that her support base among voters was only between 5. plank. there were even rumours that she might support the Congress Partyafterthe elections.45 per cent and 9. launched her campaign from the temple town of Tirupathi. Naidu made all possible efforts to project his closeness to NTR and his policies. were intensely fought for the political legacy of NTR by both the TDP groups. While her crowd pulling abilities were extolled by the media. Naidu used the election as an opportunity to widen his party's organisational network. when she lost the 'bicycle' symbol to the rival faction.2 Party INC TDPN and allies* Others Note: * CPI and CPM Source: Pre-poll survey. May 15. This was followed by the 1994 assembly elections where the partywas trounced. he selectively used the speeches where he was praised. She tried to convey the message that NTR was the victim of back-stabbingby his own family members and thatNTR had wanted the back-stabbers to be taught a lesson. she had enough oratorialskills to enthusethe crowd to listen to her. The rest of the political parties have been only minor players in the political battle. She had learnt well NTR's skill of turning adversity into advantage.
9 per cent vote could succeed in establishing its vis-a-vistheLakshmi Parvathi supremacy of beneficiary thebattle group. P minister.On the otherhand.The voters of of AP havea reputation beingdifferent In from the nationalmainstream.21 47. But if the votes of the two TDP groupswere to be the wouldhavewon aggregated. Theresultsof the 1996LokSabhaelections in AP reflect the resolutionof the contestation between the TDPN and TDPLPfor the legacy of NTR in favour of Naidu.9 INC 9/15 37. support intact 1996:62).5 0/21 13.5 61. predictionsassociatedwith it.4 0/1 5.2 0/1 0.and Dal TDPLP by supported Janata andBSP.6 per cent popular vote.9 0/1 1.Perhapshe could convince the people the of regarding continuation welfareand which stood programmes developmental in stark contrast anessentiallynegative to It by campaigning Parvathi.But it was not an easy gamble. natedas many as nine OBC candidates.4 1/3 7.0 1/2 3. 1999 .2 11/19 41.The Naidu group securing 16 seats and its allies CPI andCPI(M)two andone seats respectivelytogetherwith 37.4 0/6 33.7 4/6 43.caste calculationshad gone into the processof nominationof candidates by differentpolitical parties. in The CongressParty's performance if AP would seem to be spectacular seen in theoverallcontextof thedebacleof the the partythroughout country.9 2/3 6.whoconstitute per Naidunomicent of the statepopulation.6 63.2 per cent which equals what the TDP securedin 1994assembly undivided elections. failedto convertthis into seats.Severalseniorleadershad to be suspendedright in the middle of The campaigning. that therefore.5 0/19 1. In 1989.5 0/6 11.got a and second position both in Hyderabad Secunderabad a thirdpositionin six and other constituencies. when the Congresshad a massive TDP andits the lead throughout country.6 Notes: W: won.9 2/18 13. the Moreover. Congress in only six constituencies. and selectionof reddys besidesajudicious and on kammasdepending theirstrength influence. was Its complacency increasedby media that projections it could sweep the polls witha tallyof 40 seatsout of a totalof 42 if it couldjust manageto keep its 1991 level (IndiaToday. leaders asCongress might Thustherewere threemajorplayersin the mostof the constituencies: Congress. The sensitive Hyderabadseat was retainedby Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi of MIM. 44 triedto courtOBCs.3 0/2 2.5 6/6 59. the performance the TDPN and its allies in the coastal region was betterthan expected.The identified reddys.sometimes thecostof thetwo TDP groups.7 2/5 39.4 62. The voting constituencysugpatternin Hyderabad geststhatwhileMIMhada strongsupport base in the foururbansegments.The major betweenthetwo TD groupsfollowingthe split in the partywas the Congress(I).1 5/6 45.0 0/1 5.so calculationsand also have the strategies.7 0/2 0.They could secure to 11 seats out of a total of 21 compared 10 seats of Congress. in theCongress s Party' share theTelangana andRayalaseema regionswas betterthan W/C Vote (Per Cent) TDPLP CPI+CPM TDPN 4/12 26. The BJP which lost its lone seat seat to of Secunderabad the Congress. contrast.AP elected41 Congress MPs out of a total of 42.5 1/2 3.1 64. allies had won 35 seats. CPI and CPM.1 61.The rival TDPN. C: contested. TDPLPlookedfor candidates with greaterlocal influence.it was clear thatthe CongressPartyin the state to was simplywaiting collectthespoilsof the warbetweenthetwo factionsof TDP.8 0/20 26. who are traditionally with the Congress(I)bagged 12 of its for nominations the 34 generalcategory seats.7 0/6 5. If we make a regionwise analysis of (Table5).1 2/3 9. is no wonder. to nor any charismatic leaderto project. haverealised later.9 0/15 7. 2454 Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. thoughit garnered10.5 8/15 37. had no novel programmes announce. Source: CSDS data unit.8 6/11 23. V Narasimha Hence.It wasclearthatwhiletheCongress and the TDPN kept the caste arithmetic of in view in the processof nomination the candidates.4 67. wherea former Karimnagar K Vijayabhaskara Reddy.TDPLPselected 10 reddysand 12 kammasand was thereforedubbedas an uppercaste party.It didnotdisplayanywell planned campaign strategy.3 65.Thisin spiteof thefactthattheOBC voters who have traditionally supported to decisionNTRwereexpected be crucial makersin the choice between the two TDPs. sorrystateof affairsin the partywas evidentfromthe episodein chiefminister.9 65.8 1/5 35.4 5/19 37. As before. TDPN and its allies.3 4/15 32. The LakshmiParvathigroup.5 10/21 47. in campwas Complacency theCongress It the quiteevidentthroughout campaign.For instance.7 0/14 10.the BJP its consolidated positionin the threerural at segments.was humiliated in of byasection Congressmen thepresence of the party presidentand then prime Rao. Naidu got the votes while Parvathigot the crowds.6 The split of the TDP votebank between the rival groupsthus benefited the C--ngress(I).0 0/6 1. TDPN andits allies could wrestas many as 15 seats which the Congresshad held in the last Lok Sabha.Naidu even picked up an ST in candidate Warangal againsta powerful of reddycandidate the Congress(I)and a caste candidatein the velama backward dominated Karimnagar constituency.1 0/6 8.7 LOK ANALYSIS: SABHA ELECTIONS TABLE REGIONWISE 5: Region (Total Seats) Telangana (15) Year 1991 1996 1998 Coastal (21) 1991 1996 1998 Rayalasema (6) 1991 1996 1998 Turnout 58.The Congressin turncould wrestonly four seats fromthe TDP. in TDPLP'sselectionof candidates. when the Congresslost powerat the centre. Inthe 1996election. was not based on any reasoned politicalcalculus.AP ElecMPsto LokSabha.2 BJP 1/15 18.theCongress polled 39.1 10.0 TDP 2/10 19. 1977.It was bogged down in its own so internal factionalism muchthatit could not containdissidence even duringthis crucialperiod.7 percentvotesandwon22 of 42 seats. sent39 Congress toralpoliticsin AP has been different. whentheJanata Partymadea cleansweep all over the country.5 10/19 36.3 0/20 4. April30.1 13/21 41.the party choseto give ticketsto richandinfluential personsof forwardcastes in constituencies wherethe weakersectionsaredomi- nant. This is evidentfromthe factthatthetwoTDgroups together polled 43. This was much less than the 31 seats it held in the previousLok Sabha5 was and to measlycompared the earlypredictions of a clean sweep in the state. Again in 1984. following the time-testedstrategyof NTR.
7 it is difficult to conclude the latter has four out of seven kamma whether any of these traditional support MPs from the state and the rest belong to bases are going to be stable.7 0/1 4.9 TDPN 15/30 34. regions that have been characterised by No other political party. BCs and the fracturedverdict in the 1996 elections. though for obvious reasons it is less than that of 1994 assembly elections. It won five out of a total of six seats.7 1/2 36. votes had gone to the TDPN.7 per cent compared to 37. Out of the seven backward class TDPN in the keenly contested 1996 elecMPs. The CSDS 1996 post-poll survey pro.0 0/2 16.3 0/6 18.0 4/32 18. The proportion of backward caste MLAs and MPs has remained more or less at the same level as before. linguistic andsocioeconomic background. The the 11th Lok Sabha. Though both have is reinforced when we examine the 1998 shared one seat each in ST constituencies. out of 11 reddys belong to the people who identify themselves with any Eight Congress and only three to its rival. though it has improved compared to its share of 37. higher proportions of reddys and SCs are found in the within two years were a consequence of Congress and those of kammas. This doubt the Congress Party.3 1/5 33. those among the SC groups have The TDPN. Its vote share also declined here.9 1/4 4. We might infer from these data that while come to assume a significant role in the NTR' s supportersamong the OBC and the unfolding theatre of politics at the centre ST groups have transferredtheir loyalties in the period following the 1996 elections.5 19/34 38. from 59. In the absence of any large group of and one belongs to the Congress Party.2 0/6 11.6 1/1 19.8 per cent. These two communities have steadily maintained their share among the state's MLAs and MPs at these levels since independence [see Reddy (1989) for comparative data on other elections]. both in 1991 and 1996. As before. to Naidu.2 0/5 5.1 per cent in 1996.thatofTDPN andits allies. Among the tionate to its ability to reflect the aspiraSC voters the Congress Party had a larger tions of the regions. signals the celebration of But among the upper castes. which is considerably more than its share of 27.7 0/1 4. Its vote share declined also in the coastal region.4 percent. However. it is possible to country and its relevance made propordiscern some general trends. The formation of an unstable government STs in TDPN and its allies. in the 1994 assembly elections. While in Telangana its vote share increased from 29. played a key role in survey confirms the established notion forging a non-Congress(I) and non-BJP that the TDP has its stronghold among the coalition at the centre by actively negotiruralelectorate and especially among the ating with the time-tested and fairly sucwomen due to NTR's policies of welfare cessful strategy followed by the undivided 6: TABLE CATEGORYWISE ANALYSIS: LOK SABHA ELECTION Category 1996 General SC ST 1998 General SC ST Total Seats 34 6 2 INC 16/34 39. There does not seem to be a remarkable shift in the caste composition of the MPs after the 1996 election or of MLAs after the 1994 election.6 per cent in the 1994 assembly elections.7 W/C Vote (Per Cent) TDPLP CPI+CPM 0/34 10. including the differential historical. who are only 4 per cent of the population (Table 7).8 BJP 0/32 5. the Congress had a distinct edge.3 - 34 6 2 Notes: W: won: C: contested.6 2/4 3.1 per cent in 1991 to 41.7 0/2 37. The share of brahmins is declining gradually.7 1/1 20. It seems that the Congress continues to maintain its support base among the scheduled castes.2 3/5 32. About 26 per cent of the representativesarereddys whereas they constitute only 6 per cent of the population. In theTelangana region the Congress Party secured eight out of 15 seats compared to six of its adversaries. In the general and ST constituencies.2 per cent to 44. were more or less evenly placed in terms of both seats and votes (Table 6).7 3/6 38. These segments could be compared to their strength in the popula.4 percent.7 5/6 42.1 per cent during-the 1994 assembly elections. In the Rayalaseema region the former won four out of six seats compared to two of the latter. the Congress and the TDPN and its allies. in Rayalaseema it went up from 33.1 per cent to 33. but it is very low and prohibition. TDPLP.seen to have shifted their allegiance to the tion.7 per cent to 43. Surprisingly. Indian politics. six belong to the TDPN and its allies tions.2 1/1 23. In the coastal area it marginally declined from 42.Though the parties to the centre of Indian politics. when it had won all the six seats. about 16 per cent of the representatives are kammas. Its support base in the Telangana area remained more or less the same at a little over 37 percent. But in SC constituencies. the TDPN could manage to get one of its IV ST candidates elected in a general conDrifting Social Support: stituency at Warangal. 1999 2455 . Source: CSDS Data Unit Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. But political party. in the 1996 elections is more than that of the undivided TDP and its allies in 1991 elections.0 0/1 9. But the performance of the Congress Party in Rayalaseema region in 1996 was worse than that in 1991. but has increased from 37.the vote share of TDPN and its allies in both the Telangana and Rayalaseema regions. Similarly. that the TDPN has in any specific category of voters (Table 8). The apparently fragsupport base whereas a larger share of ST mented verdict of the 1996 elections. electoral outcome. both the groups.2 per cent.1 percent.1 8/29 32.by the United Front of 13 parties with vides us some useful clues to understand outside support by the Congress(I) has the socio-economic background of the been instrumental in bringing the regional supportersof different parties.9 per cent to 39.6 per cent of the latter.0 0/1 18.1 0/2 3.9 0/3 1. the Congress autonomy and distinctness of different continued to get a higher level of support. could claim a sizeable following It is in this context.0 0/1 1. Its vote share was 42. Thus no politi1998 Elections cal group is dominated by an exclusive The elections to the Lok Sabha in 1998 caste category. though it had just 16 MPs in moved over to the Congress Party. The latter mirroringthe process of regionalisation of had a slight edge in the support of OBCs. The survey data does not indicate a distinct historically dominant Congress Party has polarisation of political forces on the basis been reduced to certain pockets of the of any single parameter. from 47. the reddys and kammas are overrepresented.
Emerging confident from its performance (vis-a-vis that of TDPLP) in 1996 elections.7 7. (b) pursuing the politics of the non-Congress coalition at the national level. The public dialogue exercise initiated by the Naidu government vindicated this view. was hinged on his commitment to implement them in spite of the problems of resource mobilisation.8 26. the BJP vigorously projected Vajpayee as the prime ministerial candidate to convey the message that it alone could be a better bet for stable government. But the major changes to be found were initiated in the policy domain soon after the 1996 elections.0 MPs in 1996 Elections Number Per Cent 2 11 7 3 1 7 6 *3 2 42 4. As analysed earlier.0 46. While for the Congress(I). contested almost all the seats since the 1991 parliamentary elections.2 16. If exigencies of the 'hung' Lok Sabha constituted one dimension. What marked it out this time obviously was its success in attracting a number of cinema stars and dissidents not only from the TDPN but a significant chunk also from the Congress(I) on the eve of the elections. The BJP. the failure of UF experiment was enough to dilute its enthusiasm.1 2.0 14. for the TDPN. initiated the process of forging a national alternative through a series of conclaves of the nonCongress parties. these policies were crucial in NTR's comeback to power in the 1994 assembly elections.0 5. But it was not to be the case with the left parties.7.0 6. the TDPN governmentinitiated a public dialogue on some of the quintessentially NTR schemes and policies like Rs 2 a kilo rice scheme and prohibitionpolicy as a preparationfor policy changes.0 3. occasioned by the fall of the UF government following the withdrawal of support by the Congress(I) was something neither the AP Congress(I) nor the TDPN was prepared for.TDP under NTR's leadership.4 3. except for their traditional mutual opposition.5 1. NTR's mandate in 1994.0 8. This obviously lent credence to the view that the total prohibition and Rs 2 a kilo scheme were major causes for the fiscal crisis of the state. posed no majorproblem to the TDPN in pursuance of its reform agenda. the BJP tried to turn this to its advantage andmore specifically the BJP tried to gain sympathy from its government's collapse after 13 days in power in spite of being a majorpartyas a resultof the actions of the Congress(I) and UF partners.3 7.4 16. 1999 .0 3.0 4.4 7.1 1. then the regional issues centred around the governance of the TDPN and its policy reversals constituted another significant dimension of the electoral campaign. 2456 Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. put both the Congress (I) and the TDPN at a disadvantage. the coming of the elections so soon was largely its own making.3 5.9 13. The culmination of this was the formation of National Front of which NTR was the chairman till his death. to supervise quality control of seeds. what enthused the BJP in this respect was its alliance with the TDPLP. Further. In addition the hike in slab rates on electricity and water cess for agriculture were effected.8 Further the flow of illicit liquor into the state is seen as an evidence of the impracticality of the proposition of total prohibition.3 25. But their being 'friendly opposition' forced them to remain silent on these crucial issues.and the opportunist support to it by the Congress(I) from outside.6 3. By focusing on the failure of the UF coalition to provide a stable government .0 1. in contrast. In contrast. The BJP's campaign this time was in fact star-studded with all the glamour and hype that goes with the Telugu commercial cinema. these two major playersin the statepolitics displayed visible disinterest as there could be no substantial issues with regional relevance for them to focus their attention on.0 2. There were the suicides among cotton farmers in the northern Telangana districts during 1997-98 due to the successive failure of cotton crop on account of the failure of governmental agencies to provide extension services.0 12. the campaign issues in 1998 were a mere repeat of that in 1996. In a sense. The BJP's star campaigners were most vocal on the TDPN's back-out from its stated adherence to NTR's policies. which had lost even its lone Secunderabad seat in 1996 elections.1 .0 Brahmin Reddy Kamma Velama (forward caste) Vaishya or komati Kshatriyaor raju Kapu Other forward caste Backward castes Scheduled castes Scheduled tribes Muslims Not ascertained Total Note: * One ST candidate was elected in general category constituency. It may be recollected that it was NTR who. legitimised by the supportof the left and further propelled by its newfound place in the national politics. In the Congress (I) andthe TDPN camps. one could see a sense of exhaustion.1 4.in which TDP was a partner. But what the BJP triedto harpon was the slogan of 'able leader and stable government'.5 100. The dynamism and issues that dominated the 1996 electoral campaign were missing this time. If the context of the 1998 elections. cutting across ideological persuasion.8 100. The elections to the Lok Sabha in 1998. needless to say. the urban middle classes have generally seen NTR's policies as being detrimental to the development of the state.50 a kilo and the quantity was reduced from 25 kilos to 16 kilos per family.0 MLAs in 1994 Elections Number Per Cent 1 76 46 9 3 10 22 3 38 39 *16 9 22 294 0.9 15. It is here that the increasing distance of Naidu's government from NTR's regime has to be seen. for the reasons stated above. NTR followed a twopronged strategy of: (a) forging an antiCongress alliance with the left in the state. Following the opinion mobilisation exercise and as a measure towards the improvement of the state's fiscal position TDPN government introduced modifications in the prohibition policy and subsidised rice scheme. The BJP. pesticides and other AND MPs IN ANDHRA PRADESH OF TABLE 7: CASTE COMPOSITION MLAs Caste Per Cent in Population (Approx) 3. after his coming to power in 1983. These policy changes were part of the larger agenda of economic reforms in the state that made a departure from the policy framework of NTR's regime [Srinivasulu 1998].0 7. it may be recollected. By actively participating in this process Naidu sought to demonstrate his conformity to NTR's legacy and carve out a niche for himself in the national politics. Thus prohibition was partially lifted and the price of subsidised rice was hiked from Rs 2 to Rs 3.7 14. in spite its meagre presence in most of the constituencies. especially at the grass roots. displayed enthusiasm and dynamism. The supportfor NTR among the popular classes was derived from these populist policies. Thus the BJP focused on the TDP's failures. fertilisers. Finding themselves once again in the electoral fray. The broad consensus among the political parties.
5 23. the schism in the traditionally Congress supporting scheduled castes along the mala-madiga caste line substantially eroded Congress support.6 3.7 53.0 2. Though it is difficult to assess the impact of this polarisation on the political process.0 50.a BC candidate won on the TDP ticket in 1996.7 2.1 4.9 4.6 42.5 59.5 50. Though it is difficult to say anything definite about the changing social bases of the Congress(I).9 Source: Post-poll survey.0 42.7 41.3 4. This is evident in the fact that in Rajamundry and Kakinada.2 5.3 44.6 3. The messagethatseems to have gone well with them this time was the BJP's stabilityplank. with a substantial section of the madigas shifting to the TDPN. assuming that a substantial proportion of its 10.besidesits traditional stronghold it seat Secunderabad. election was an unprecedented enthusiasmfortheBJPnotonlyamongthemiddle classesbutalso in thefarming community in northern as Telangana well as in coastal districts. If the alliance with the TDPLP was a major factor in the BJP's performance. joining the BJP on the eve of the elections.3 9.9 30. it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was one of the factors which had contributed to the shuffling of the seats in 1998. In turn it gained 10 seats from the TDP compensating even for its losses to the BJP.6 5.3 3.5 40.the Congress(I) included a numberof new candidates leadingeven to the exclusion of incumbents.7 7. In the social background the candiof dates fielded by both the TDPN and Congress(I) there was no significant changefrom1996. a significant drift in its social support could be observed.0 42. 1999 2457 .7 40. as the suicidescontinued. this time it succeeded in winning only in three SC reserved constituencies. If the replacement of the candidates and denial of tickets to the incumbents is one reason for the seat changes of the Congress(I).2 36. won Karimnagar fromtheTDPinTelangana.7 42.In contrast.1 0.9 46.1 4. For the firsttime the BJP has madeits markon thepoliticalscenarioof the state in a big way throughconsiderable gains in termsof popularvote and seats.3 2.4 55.9 48.3 57. The BJP's gains in coastal Andhra. the TDPN displayed greater continuityand stability.7 4. one each from the TDP and the Congress(I) in this region.6 56.3 9.7 1.4 44.6 40. Thus it would be instructive to analyse the factors contributing to the successful garnering of two seats. a dissident Congress(I) leader belonging to the kapu community.7 60. While it won five of the six SC constituencies and one of the two ST constituencies in the state. This election has seen a considerableshift in the social supportof the almost all the parties.9 in 1996. August 21-28. The shifts away in two significant social constituencies of kapus and madigas in the Congress(I) social coalition could be seen as indicative of the changes in its support base. 1998.2 2. deserve serious attention. 1996. What is worth noting about the performance of the Congress(I) are the upsets it suffered in the reserved constituencies. of Thus.1 9.This turnedto the advantageof the BJP.4 4.2 2.8 8. each fromTelangana and coastal Andhra demonstratesthis.WhiletheCongress(I) had shown a preferencefor candidates fromthedominant castesof reddys peasant andkammas.PradeshRythuSangham inputs[Andhra 1998: Vaartha.3 5.4 42. considerably tilted the supportbase of the Congress(I) to the BJP.3 2. It lost the ST seat it held last time. Mudragada Padmanabham. thisvelama In dominated for constituency. with a considerable influence in the two Godavari districts not only among the kapus but also among other communities.In list contestants addition.5 -w 3. the Congress(I) could be said to have substantially lost its base among the madigas.6 5.0 53.3 37. The madiga reservationstruggle against the existing policy of reservation for the SCs that has benefited the malas disproportionately to their size in the SC population has been supported by the TDPN government.6 2.4 49.3 46.6 50.Thusthe BJPgot one each fromthe TDPandCongress(I) camesecondin and as many as three constituenciesin this region. As a result of this. it has seen a significant shuffling of seats. It could win only 12 of the seats it won in 1996 and lost as many as eight seats to the TDP and allies and two seats to the BJP. TABLE 8: WHO VOTED FOR WHOM IN ANDHRA PRADESH Categories Age (years) 25 and below 26-35 36-45 46-55 56 and above Sex Male Female Education Illiterate Primaryand middle Intermediate Graduateand above Religion Hindu Muslim Christian Caste SC ST OBC Others Locality Rural Urban Class Very poor Poor Middle Upper INC TDPN+ TDPLP+ Others Left JD 46.7 4.1 6.7 49.4 3. If the Mudragada factor was critical to the shift of the kapus away from the Congress(I) to the BJP in the coastal districts.6 1.6 49. February1998). Its promise to strive for the necessary modification had led to the rallying of the madigas around the TDPN thereby ensuing the political polarisationof malas and madigas on party lines [for an analysis of the dalit movement see Srinivasulu 1999].9 2.9 23.8 32. The BJP fielding a velamacandidatedefeated the TDP incumbentand a veteranCongress(I)candidatebelongingto the velamacommunity.0 2.9 58. TDP as in 1996 fielded the candidates from OBC background. then the deeper changes in the socio-political context could be another. Its convincingvictoriesin four two constituencies.7 46.0 4. Thoughthe Congressmade the policy reversalsby the Naidu governmentthe centralissue.9 50.4 7. won in 1996 by the Congress(I) andTDPN respectively. sufficientground was for the BJP and Congressto target the TDPN duringthe election. the gains from the TDPN and Congress(I) could be no less important.7 48.6 5.This could be seen as a reflection on the factional in infighting the party. consequenceof the liberalreforms. the Congress(I) has been reduced to a third position. The agitation of the madigas for the categorisation of the SCs into four groups for the benefit of reservations in education and employment took a serious form after the 1996 elections. CSDS. the considering fact that this region had Economic and Political Weekly never witnessed any communal tensions and that BJP's popular vote percentage was just 1.6 1.5 4.1 47.0 2.3 50. the firsttime in its history.8 3.8 34.0 2.3 55.2 47.7 percent supportin 1996 has shifted to the BJP.7 6.9 38.The failureof the government respondto to the crisis in any significantway. Though the Congress(I) has maintained its balance sheet by winning 22 seats this time as well.3 42. February 16.7 30.Thus 'let us give a chanceto the BJP' was the refrainoften heardduringthe campaign(field interviews. This in turnis seen to be a Hyderabad]. its lack of conviction and absence anypolicyalternative quite of was Whatwas transparent this in conspicuous.7 40.1 46.4 48.
then its dramatic gains are indicative of the disequilibrium in the social coalitions of the TDP and Congress(I). Though the BJP succeeded in rallying the support of a significant section of Andhra electorate. Narasaraopet. The seat changes witnessed between the last two elections. positions invariablyheld by the uppercastes . This has rendered the social coalition of support of both the parties critical. Department of of Indira Gandhi. reforms were partof the largeradministrative reforms(which include the restructuring the of revenue and panchayat raj institutions) introducedby NTR duringhis firstterm(198389) in office [Srinivasulu 1990]. Sage. kammas. region is industriallybetter off. These hereditary Political Weekly.K (1990): 'Telugu Desam Partyand these regions have vast natural resources the Restructuringofthe Raj Panchayat System' which are largely unexploited. 2458 Economic and Political Weekly August 21-28. Sterling. Machilipatnam. perhaps with some alterations. Perspective. In varying degrees it is true of other communities and their allegiance to political parties. In such a situation even denial of party ticket to a particular community could become a sufficient reason for the withdrawal of its support. would settle down in the existing political equation. 1999 . nine in Madras. dictated by the exigencies of their electoral calculus. 'StateFinances:The FactualPosition' brought out by the state government ofAP: 1996)reinforcesthisview. Elliot. The contest forNTR's legacy by the TDPN and TDPLP has been settled in favour of the former and this has been vindicated by its electoral performance in the last two elections and further by the decimation of the TDPLP. SAP (UGC). Yet it would be pertinent to note that the unstable nature of existing social coalitions of support of the two major partiesand the resultantpolitical volatility provides space for alternativearticulation. (Government References AndhraPradeshRythu Sangam (1998): Distress of Farmers X-Rayed: A Case of Andhra Pradesh. which have been between the TDPN and the Congress(I). Chittoor. The Congress(I) lost its monopoly of holding on to power in 1983 but continued to be an important player in state politics.Delhi.Class and Entrepreneurship: the former by the reddis and latter by the A Case Study of Coastal Andhra Pradesh.The case of the kapus in coastal Andhra is an instance of this.Hindupur. I There are 10 districts in Telangana. The process of increasing articulation of aspirations and interests by different social groups. Nagarkurnool. Economic and to collect land revenue. coastal Andhra and four in Rayaiaseema. (b)theassassination and Ideology'. Anakapalle. Osmania University. Inthis process the political partieswhich. Some of the patels and patwaris fulfilling the requisite These qualificationswere also accommodated. Carolyn M (1970): 'Caste and Faction among the DominantCastes:The Reddis and Kammas of Andhra' in Rajni Kothari (ed). Seen against the background of the long-term alignment of political forces which began with the emergence of the TDP in 1983 and consolidated over the years with significant shifts in the support of the OBCs. It had won 25 seats in 1991 election and six MPs joined the party later.7 per cent of the respondents from AP felt that they were close to any political party during the 1996 post-poll survey conducted by the CSDS. 2 The referenceis to: (a) the dramaticouster of . Delhi. Political Science.TheTelangana in M Kistaiah (ed). Delhi. In this situation the probability of alteration in power is very high. have directly or otherwise encouraged specific caste articulation could find themselves at the receiving end. In the absence of such a possibility.The seat changes and swings in the vote margins of these parties across regions and constituencies could be read as indicative of significant shifts in the social support of the Congress(I) and the TDPN. The first phase of the survey was conducted about one month before the election and the second one about 10 days before the election. Hyderabad. though for a limited period. not only provided access to power India' in Mario Rutten and Carol Upadhya and wealthbutwere also sourcesof corruption. Ramlal following the revolt in the TDP led (Mimeo). The analysis of the 1996 and 1998 Lok Sabhaelections providesinterestingtrends in the politics of the state. needless to say. Srikakulam. Economic Reforms and NTR from chief ministership by governor Welfarism: The Case of Andhra Pradesh'.The Telangana and Rayalaseema M S A Rao. in 1998.(1999): 'Dalit Movement in Andhra Pradesh: by Nadendla Bhaskar Rao and NTR's A Study of the Social Base.OxfordUniversityPress. in contrast. Its allies. Whichever group is in power tends to dominate. the last two elections show certain volatility and uneasiness in these social groups. Small Business Entrepreneursin Asia Further and Europe: Towards a Comparative they were traditional supportstructures of the Congress Party. Reddy. the CPI and CPI(M) wrested the Badrachalam and Kammam seats respectively. its victory in the four constituencies is largely due to the weakness of the main rival party in these constituencies. Kakinada. though most of the industries are located in and around . The second party which dominated the electoral scene both in 1996 and 1998 was the TDPN and its allies CPI and CPI(M).arebackward regions with low agricultural productivity. the social forces. Karimnagar. 3 'Patel-patwaris' were traditional village Hyderabad. By abolishing them. (eds). Dominance and State Power in ModernIndia. STs and also the Muslims towards the TDP.(1998): 'World Bank. Orient Longmans. The white paper on the state of AP economy entitled. The four seats wrested by the Congress are Guntur. . Amalapuram Vishakapatnam. October 1. AdministrativeReforms inza Developing Society. If the support of the madigas could be rallied successfully by the TDPN in the 1998 elections with its promise to fulfil theirdemand for the SC categorisation. and Vijayawada. Hyderabad. TDPN wrested 13 seats from the Congress: Adilabad. G Ram (1989): 'The Politics of Coastal Andhra has veryfertile delta areas Accommodation: Caste.July 2 and July 9.Carol B ( 1988): 'TheFarmer-Capitalist to maintain law and the order and the latter of Coastal Andhra Pradesh'. Bobbili. Though in 1996 the Congress(I) and the TDPN could largely retain the support of the constituents of their respective social coalitions. Narsapur. 4 5 6 7 8 NTR not only gained popularappreciationas these institutions had acquired notoriety of sorts in the perception of the popularclasses but also strucka serious blow at the Congress support system.V Concluding Remarks The state projects a seriously contested electoral scenario with the TDPN and Congress(I) competing for power with approximatelyequal support bases. its failure to do so in the meantime turned the madigas against it subsequently. Organisation and subsequent comeback to power following massivepublicprotest. Notes Caste in Indian Politics. Only 11.on theotherhand. Economic and Political Weekly.ClassandDominance formed by the Godavari and the Krishna in AndhraPradesh'in FrancineR Frankeland rivers.(1994): 'BSP and Caste Politics'. regions. The case of madigas illustrates this. officers: the former was vested with powers Upadhya. vindicate the inference that supportbases of the two dominant rivals is fluid and the electoral pendulum can swing in favour of either of them. If the overall performance of the BJP in the 1998 election is an outcome of the contextual specificity of this election. especially those in the subaltern ranks. through both issue based movements and leader centred mobilisation can be said to have contributed to the volatility of their electoral support.(1997): 'Culture. Warangal. In their place NTR created village administrativeofficers to be recruited throughopen competition. there could be witnessed a markeddeparture. Both Srinivasulu.
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