Exit poll shows huge loss for Congress; Jagan’s YSR Congress may win 15 seats
HEADLINES TODAY BUREAU | Hyderabad/New Delhi, June 12, 2012 | 08:02
Voters hold up their IDs before casting their ballot in the Andhra bypolls.
An exit poll conducted by the Centre for Voting Opinion & Trends in Election Research (CVOTER) has confirmed the Congress’ worst fear in Andhra Pradesh, where by-elections were held for 18 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday.
The outcome of the exit poll indicated that people have voted against vendetta politics. The Congress, after its merger with actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), held 18 seats. However, subsequent to the bypolls, the alliance could lose 16.
And the biggest gainer was jailed former Congressman Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, which was likely to win 13 to 15 seats.
Though Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) retains its relevance in terms of vote share, it would not yield substantial number of seats.
Clearly, there seemed a wave against the Congress that went in favour of Jagan, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with a disproportionate assets (DA) case just days before the polling.
Massive swing against Congress
As per the exit poll results, the vote share figures spelled doom for the Congress. The gap between Congress and YSR Congress was likely to be around 10 per cent.
While Congress had secured 63 per cent votes in 2009, in 2012 its vote share seems to be falling to 29 per cent in the same segments. The massive swing of 34 per cent against the Congress went in favour of YSR Congress, with a total vote share of 39 per cent.
Despite Telangana statehood and corruption making headlines in the recent past, surprisingly it was development that topped as an issue for the voters. As many as 25 per cent people voted with development being the key issue for them.
In fact, Jagan himself became an issue for the voters as 23 per cent of the 46 lakh people across 12 districts voted because of him. Only 9 per cent voters seemed bothered about corruption.
It clearly indicates that Congress’s move to discredit Jagan backfired for the ruling party.
Even the caste equations did not work for the Congress as the strong vote bank of the powerful Reddy community was completely polarised in Jagan’s favour.
The second important group of Kamma community still backed the TDP. Though other backward communities no longer rally for the party, Chiranjeevi’s Kapu community hardly salvaged the situation for the Congress. The exit poll showed that the PRP votes did not shift en mass to the Congress following the merger.