AP poll results will be a lesson for freebie parties

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh is going to vote on Monday, which will write a new chapter in the electoral history of democratic India. This may result in either Chief Minister Y.S. Will be for or against the ruling YSRC led by. Jagan Mohan Reddy is expected to have an impact across the socioeconomic and political spectrum across the country.

Political parties, especially regional parties, will get an opportunity to learn the lesson of whether the direct benefit transfer dole-centric regime will garner electoral gains and establish itself in power in the coming days. A YSRC victory this time will vindicate Jagan Mohan Reddy’s bailout raj as well as his massive borrowing to meet the requirement and encourage other parties to follow suit. However, this would be a nightmare for economists.

“We all know that no chief minister has distributed so much cash directly to the beneficiaries. Still, if he loses, political parties will learn that voters’ loyalty cannot be bought with cash schemes,” said a senior BJP leader who campaigned for the party in AP.
Voting will be held for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats on May 13 and the results will be known after counting of votes on June 4. The high-profile campaign has seen sporadic incidents of violence, including an attack on the chief minister and clashes between the two sides. Supporters of the TD-led alliance and the ruling YSRC.

The campaign ended on Saturday evening. Braving the scorching heat, TD chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu, in his seventies, and Jagan Mohan Reddy, in his 50s, toured the state extensively, addressing several public meetings and holding road shows. Film actor and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan also did the same.
BJP is the third partner in the TD-led alliance, which interestingly has no name in it. It also took the election campaign in AP seriously and its star campaigner and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed public meetings in three Lok Sabha constituencies – Anakapalle, Rajamahendravaram and Rajampet – six of which the party is contesting. The Prime Minister also did a road show in Vijayawada.

Araku reserved for Scheduled Tribes, Tirupati reserved for Scheduled Castes and Narsapuram were left out in the Prime Minister’s campaign programme.
Jagan Mohan Reddy focused heavily on DBT schemes and highlighted the fact that they distributed around `2.3 lakh crore to BPL families in the last five years. Many schemes, except old age pension and free healthcare under Aarogyasri, remain a matter of debate mainly on the issue of necessity. Some schemes provide financial assistance to those who are still in productive age.

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