Social engineering in candidate selection, booth-level teams mark YSR Congress party’s poll strategy

Social engineering and booth-level teams are being adopted as the thumb rule for the YSR Congress to face the big challenge from multiple opponents.

Social engineering in candidate selection, booth-level teams mark YSR Congress party’s poll strategy

AMARAVATHI: Social engineering and booth-level teams are being adopted as the thumb rule for the YSR Congress to face the big challenge from multiple opponents.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Jana Sena are the major combatants confronting the ruling YSR Congress, with the Bharatiya Janata Party poised to let the TDP also into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and fight the polls together in Andhra Pradesh.

Recall the oft-repeated sloganeering of the Chief Minister in all his public meetings — ‘naa SC, naa ST, naa BC, naa minority. Jagan is directly addressing the constituency of the downtrodden sections of society to vote for him based on the benefits his government could extend to them in the last 57 months. He has been talking about the “click of a button” by him for 125 times so far and is appealing to people to click two buttons in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) - one for the Assembly and one for the Parliament — in favour of YSR Congress.

He is highlighting meticulously the “fan symbol”.

One may recall his statement that “fan should be inside the home, cycle (the poll symbol of the TDP) should be outside the house and the tea glass (symbol of Jana Sena) should be thrown into the sink (wash basin).”

Also Read: Roll up sleeves, fold chairs, restrict TDP to 23; fan should be inside home, cycle outside, glass in sink: Jagan at ‘Siddham’

Without naming the Congress, led by his sister Y S Sharmila, he is obliquely hinting at the grand old party’s complicity with the troika of the TDP, the Jana Sena and the BJP.

Jagan ensured that the YSR Congress party had its organisational setup in place up to the last mile of village level.

‘Siddham’ meetings boost to cadres

The series of ‘Siddham’ meetings intended at addressing and energising the party cadres, in North Coastal Andhra (Bhimili), Coastal Andhra (Eluru) and Rayalaseema (Anantapur) have proved to be resounding success and the party bettered the show of strength and solidarity from one meeting to the other.

Describing the ‘battle royale’ the party is facing with numerous opponents joining forces as “yuddham”, Jagan is shouting the war cry to make the cadres battle ready, likening it with that in the mythological epic ‘Mahabharata’.

As if to inspire the cadres, he’s describing himself as Arjuna, the hero of the Mahabharata war, and the people donning the role of ‘Lord Krishna’, the director in the war of good over the evil.

The Chief Minister has been training his guns at the opposition suggesting to the people that all the welfare schemes being implemented by his government would be scrapped by the TDP-JSP combine if elected.

He wanted the cadres to drive home the point by meeting electors that they would be deprived of the schemes if they fell into the trap of the Opposition.

Jagan has been claiming that his only target is the welfare of his people,

Social engineering formula

Jagan has been repeatedly injecting into the minds of the people that 80 percent of elected and nominated posts — from ward members to sarpanches, MPTC members to Mandal Presidents, ZPTC members to ZP chairmen, MLAs, MLCs, Assembly Speaker, Council Chairman, Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers — were filled with backward and downtrodden sections. “Those who have never got an opportunity to ascend to such positions have all been accommodated by our government. Even in the direct benefit transfer (DBT) schemes, the biggest chunk covered 80 percent of the people belonging to weaker sections.”

Also Read: Massive ‘Siddham’ public meeting of YSR Congress booster dose for cadres; Jagan sets tone for 2024 poll campaign

The YSRCP has released a list of 68 (out of 175) Assembly Constituency in-charges and 16 (out of 25) Parliamentary Constituency in-charges so far.

While in some places, the party has “transferred” the in-charges (sitting MLAs or those taking care of the party in the respective constituencies) to other constituencies, in some cases, the sitting MLAs were dropped.

The party denied tickets to upper caste MLAs Maddali Giri (Guntur West), Malladi Vishnu (Vijayawada Central), Alla Ramakrishna Reddy (Mangalagiri), Tippala Nagi Reddy (Gajuwaka), P Sidda Reddy (Kadiri), K Chennakesava Reddy (Yemmiganur), and Manygunta Maheedhara Reddy (Kandukur). Except in Vijayawada central where a Brahmin MLA is replaced with a Vysya (Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao, Vijayawada West), all other places got incharges drawn from backward classes and weaker sections.

In many other Assembly constituencies, people belonging to weaker sections were replaced with other communities from among BCs only. In a few other seats, upper caste MLAs were replaced with upper castes and in some cases their respective progeny.

Ditto with Lok Sabha constituencies also.

Rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju’s Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency is given to a BC nominee. Eluru MP Kotagiri Srinivas (Velama) is replaced with a BC contestant. Similarly, Narasaraopet MP Lavu Srikrishna Devarayalu (Kamma) was asked to contest as an MP from Guntur, but he refused to comply with the party diktat and resigned. Though he may seek a reelection from the same constituency as TDP candidate, the YSR Congress has fielded Nellore MLA Anil Kumar Yadav from this seat.

The fate of Ongole MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy is hanging fire, while Nellore MP Adala Prabhakara Reddy is being replaced. Initially, it was given to Rajya Sabha member Vemireddy Prabhakara Reddy, it is speculated that he would move to the TDP to contest from Nellore Lok Sabha seat. However, there is not clarity as yet.

Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani who quit the TDP is being fielded by the YSR Congress from the same constituency.

There are many more changes in the offing. However, will the change of nominees would help the party win the polls is something about which analysts and observers are keeping their fingers crossed.

Winnability is said to be the principal reason factored in my the party leadership in naming the nominees. However, Jagan has been able to effectively communicate to people that he’s preferring more candidates belonging to backward classes and weaker sections by taking to social engineering.

Equipping booth-level committees

The party has constituted 15-member committees for poll management in all the 47,000-odd polling booths. These committees were entrusted with the task of coordinating with the entire machinery that has ground level connect up to the level of each voter.

Have the roles and responsibilities of the members of these committees been set? And whether they are clear on their targets?

Party insiders close to the top leadership claim that the party is firmly ‘Siddham’ (ready) for the final battle.

Also Read: “I pressed DBT button 124 times for you, press two buttons for me on polling day”: YS Jagan's call to people

The YSRCP booth strategy is “Memu Siddham, Maa Booth Siddham” (we anre ready annd our booth is ready). According to a minister, the party is beefing up its infantry on the ground. The brief for the booth committees across the state was clearly defined and tasks assigned per member for the upcoming polls are clearly cut out.

The’ Booth Blitzkrieg’ with a 15-member team fielded at each one of 47,000-odd booths across the state, the minister says that the party is preparing itself ‘to the T,’ taking care of all minute details.

The party managers said: “Once the structure was set, every booth committee member underwent training and was given precise targets. Regular meetings with the party's top leadership, two-way communication and aggressive political discussions are making the cadre more prepared and confident with each passing day.”

Dust to settle by poll notification time

Meanwhile, Jagan is expecting that disgruntlement and disappointment among those who have been denied ticket could be mollified or would settle down in about two weeks from now.

The TDP which is stitching the coalition will have to wait for the finalisation of seats with its other partners.

Pawan Kalyan has undertaken district tours to discuss internally with his party leaders and contenders to decide on which are the seats the Jana Sena should ask for from the TDP.

Supremo of the TDP N Chandrababu Naidu had already indicated to his party leaders and aspirants through a video conference that all the aspirants would not get tickets this time. He indicated that some of them would have to sacrifice their seats due to ensuing seat sharing adjustments and poll pact with the Jana Sena and also probably with the BJP.

The YSR Congress is expecting some more crossovers from the TDP-Jana Sena combine either into the ruling party or the Congress after the announcement of seat-sharing and also candidates.

By the time, the election notifications come, the YSRCP is hoping to be fully ready (siddham), while the others would commence grappling with internal dissensions and on how to ensure vote transfer between the alliance partners.

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