It is a neck-and-neck battle in the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh (25 seats in the Lok Sabha and 175 seats in the Assembly), with the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) led by its president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy banking on welfarism and the opposition front led by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) hoping to cash in on the anti-incumbency, especially in the urban pockets.

The ground realities are complex, with each region — Krishna, Godavari, North Andhra and Rayalaseema — displaying divergent trends.

Caste affiliations

Simultaneously, caste affiliations impact polls, with each of the dominant communities — the Kammas, Kapus, and Reddys — competing for primacy over governance and administration. The Hindu-CSDS-Lokniti post-poll survey in 2019 showed that 57 per cent of the dominant castes voted for the TDP and 29 per cent for the YSRCP. The YSRCP had the majority of the Dalit and Adivasi votes. OBCs and Muslim votes were divided between YSRCP and TDP.

The TDP is generally referred to as the Kamma party, the Congress is thought to be supported by the Reddys, and the Kapus are believed to back Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena party.

This time, however, the alignment with the BJP is likely to impact Muslim support for the TDP. According to the Lokniti poll, in 2019, 46 per cent of Muslims voted for the TDP, while 49 per cent voted for the YSRCP.

TDP Chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan during a roadshow for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls at Pedana in Krishna district (file Photo)

TDP Chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan during a roadshow for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls at Pedana in Krishna district (file Photo) | Photo Credit: ANI

In the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP coalition, there are coordination issues. 

“While the leaders are friends, the local TDP leaders are not co-operating in some constituencies where JS got seats. This is self-destructive for the opposition front,” N Siva, a member of JS and fisherman from Raparthi Village near Pithapuram, said. 

Region-wise, this time caste equations and the strong anti-establishment trend are prominent in Krishna district, which may impact the ruling YSRCP and result in some gains for the opposition front.

Similarly, in the Godavari district, the TDP-JS-BJP front has gained some traction, largely on account of Pawan Kalyan’s popularity and Narendra Modi’s appeal.

The voting pattern in the North Andhra region, including Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, and Rayalaseema, will be crucial. Despite Jagan Reddy’s promise of locating the executive capital in Visakhapatnam, allegations of land-grab and inordinate delay in executing the capital shift proposal are impacting the party’s prospects.

Another irritant for YSRCP here is the murder case of YS Vivekananda Reddy, the former MP from Kadapa, whose daughter Suneetha Reddy has been taking the issue of inordinate delay in investigation and conviction in the case. She is supported in this quest by Jagan Reddy’s estranged sister, YS Sharmila. Sharmila has merged her party with the Congress and has taken charge as the State Congress chief. She is contesting against her cousin and sitting YSRCP MP YS Avinash Reddy in Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. Avinash Reddy is one of the accused in the murder of Vivekananda Reddy.


Main issues that will influence voting patterns in the State are welfare schemes, development, re-location of the capital and corruption.

Throughout his campaign, Jagan Reddy has been able to convey with great effectiveness the 99 per cent implementation of his 2019 promises, and he claimed that all programmes will be terminated if the opposition is voted to power.

Jagan’s campaign, which is famously conducted with “common people as campaigners” , has been focused on his Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes and the nine promises (navaratnalu), which include financial assistance to farmers, fee reimbursement to students, job creation, completing irrigation schemes, etc., which have by and large resonated with the people. His rations at the doorstep scheme has also elicited a popular response.

The TDP and Jana Sena too were strong in their campaign, highlighting a lack of development, a new capital city, and allegations of corruption. Lack of development in the state has disappointed job seekers. “I have done B.Tech, but there are no jobs here. All are migrating to Hyderabad, as here too much focus on welfare has kept IT companies away from this port city,” said M Pavani from Visakhapatnam.

Jana Sena Chief Pawan Kalyan believes that the ground work he did in the last five years, despite a humiliating defeat in 2019 polls, will yield dividend this time.