Hyderabad: Gearing up for Andhra Pradesh elections in 2019, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has begun taking a close look at the activities of its legislators to perform an assessment. The job of scrutiny has been handed to a small team within the TDP, which will evaluate the chances of legislators retaining their seats.
The internal survey has been going on for the last three to four months, to ascertain the best candidates in all the constituencies that the party will contest.
In 2014, it contested 160 out of 175 seats, with 15 given to alliance partner Bhartiya Janata Party.
Once information is gathered by the team, it will be passed on to the party’s leadership, said a TDP leader who did not want to be named as he is involved in the process.
“We are also identifying strong candidates in each seat, not just from our party, but also from the opposition parties. And if we find that the latter has a better chance of winning and is stronger, then we will try and bring them to our party,” said the TDP leader.
He added that a good chunk of the party’s 102 MLAs may find it difficult to get tickets due to their bad performance.
Another TDP leader, also not willing to be identified, said that the party has been keeping track of all its MLAs for the last two years. “Every three months we have a meeting with all our legislators in which the chief minister hands them envelopes containing data on what they have been up to, to let them know that they are being watched,” he said.
For the moment, TDP is at loggerheads with BJP after Union budget 2018 failed to fulfil the state’s demands for more development funding.
Political analyst and vice-president of the Human Rights Forum, AP, A. Chandrasekhar, said that surveys are regularly conducted by TDP. “AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is in the habit of conducting surveys every six months and uses the results for his own survival. He also wants to keep his MLAs on tenterhooks,” he added.
Chandrasekhar stated that through such assessments, Naidu likes to show his MLAs that as individuals they don’t matter and that ultimately it is the party that counts.livemint