How Pawan Kalyan played spoilsport for Telugu Desam Party?

Hyderabad: The presence of a third major political force in electoral fray in the form of film star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party proved a big spoiler for Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh.

Though the newbie was completely wiped out and ended up with only one assembly seat and its founder president Pawan Kalyan lost in both his assembly constituencies, it ended up causing serious harm to TDP, turning an imminent victory to defeat in at least 8 Lok Sabha and 31 assembly constituencies in the state. It helped YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRCP to take its tally to 151 in 175 member assembly and 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. Though absence of Pawan Kalyan might not have stopped Jagan from storming to power but surely TDP would have avoided a complete decimation. It was left with only 23 assembly and 3 Lok Sabha seats in the end.

This was contrary to the general expectations that Jana Sena will end up harming YSRCP more than the TDP.

How profound was the impact of Jana Sena on TDP could be gauged from the fact that in the 8 Lok Sabha constituencies the votes it polled were manifold more than YSRCP’s margin of victory. YSRCP won all these seats. Same was the story in at least 31 assembly constituencies.

The 8 Lok Sabha seats include Visakhapatnam, Anakaplly, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram, Amalapuram, Narsapuram and Machhlipatnam and Bapatla.

In Visakhapatnam where the JSP’s candidate and former CBI Joint Director Lakshminarayana secured 277,971 votes, YSRCP’s MVS Murthy won with a margin of mere 3,722 over the TDP candidate Sri Bharat.

Similarly in Bapatla BSP candidate backed by JSP polled 41,816 votes and YSRCP’s victory margin was 15,881. In Amalapuram DMR Sekhar of JSP polled 251,584 and YSRCP’s victory margin was 37,494. In Narsapuram Pawan Kalyan’s brother and film actor Naga Babu polled 248,144 and victory margin of YSRCP was 28,093. In three other constituencies JSP candidates polled more than 125,000 votes and the seats ended up in Jagan’s kitty.

This story had a parallel in 2009 elections when the presence of Praja Rajyam party of film star Chiranjeevi (brother of Pawan Kalyan) and Lok Satta of Jayprakash Narayan had helped Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy-led Congress party to retain power for second term in undivided Andhra Pradesh. The two new parties had gobbled considerable vote-share of TDP helping Congress to retain power.

This time in bifurcated Andhra Pradesh YSRCP polled 49.2 per cent votes against 39.7 per cent votes of TDP.

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