If sources in Hyderabad are to be believed, the Congress has set May 20 as the date for the swearing-in of its new government. YSR is almost certain to become the chief minister. A much-reduced margin for Reddy would have the effect of marginally clipping his almost unchallenged grip on the party and the government. But it would be churlish not to give YSR credit for a degree of good governance, especially his drive to improve the lot of farmers in rural areas. He can also secretly relish the fact that many of his putative rivals within the party, including party president D. Srinivas, have lost their seats.
For N. Chandrababu Naidu, the assembly results would be sorely disappointing. Despite populist promises like the direct cash transfer, the TDP did not succeed in wooing the voters. Naidu would have been hoping for a better result in the Lok Sabha polls as well, but there too, he has had to face a huge setback. Naidu has turned choosing disastrous allies into a fine art. His alliance with the BJP to a considerable extent cost him the 2004 elections. In 2009, no one in the right frame of mind would have blundered into an alliance with the discredited K. Chandrasekhara Rao and his Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The Congress has harvested the folly of TDP’s getting into opportunistic alliances. The other factor has been the steadily attenuating credibility of Naidu. The common perception has been that Naidu’s sole aim over the past five years has been to get back to power. In this quest, he has gone to the extent of compromising on emotive issues like statehood for Telangana, something he was bitterly opposed to at one point of time. The backlash against the TDP on this issue has stood the Congress in good stead in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.