Election slogans that sealed TDP’s victory

Words can make or break relationships. With respect to elections, it can make or break a party’s chances at the hustings. In case of Andhra Pradesh, the state has had a vibrant political history along with a dash of glamour. The Telugu culture and enterprising attitude have seeped even into the state’s politics. 
Until the early 1980s where the Indian National Congress has had a monopoly, regional parties broke the jinx in that decade, which also saw the birth of the Telugu Desam Party in 1982 in Andhra Pradesh. Founded by film actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), TDP soon became a force to reckon with, as scores of people from across the state began supporting NTR. 
In his high-decibel campaign trail in Chevrolet van which was called the “Chaitanya Ratham,” NTR highlighted the ill-treatment of then Chief Minister T. Anjaiah by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This resonated with the people as NTR had introduced “Telugu vaari aatma gauravam (self-respect of Telugus)” as his election slogan. Additionally, he also highlighted the need to get rid of the Madrasis tag, by those who referred to every South Indian as a Madrasi, without understanding the state’s demography or language. 

At every campaign trail or public meeting, NTR highlighted “aatma gauravam” and stoked the sentiment of Telugus. This slogan eventually worked for NTR along with his charisma, eventually giving Telugu Desam Party a thumping win in the 1983 elections with 201 out of total 290 assembly seats. 
Interestingly, the 2014 assembly elections in a Andhra Pradesh post-bifurcation scenario also created a similar need for “Seemandhra sentiment”. The wrath of bifurcation was clear in Andhra Pradesh. While the people of Telangana sought a separate state, those from Rayalaseema and Andhra were clearly against it. However, the Congress had decided to divide the state against the wishes of the people of AP by putting liabilities in AP’s basket while assets when to Telangana. 
The TDP’s election slogan for 2014 assembly elections was “Job Kavalante Babu Ravali (If you want job, Bring Babu Back)”. The slogan caught up with the people who put the onus of their future in the TDP chief’s hands. Given that the contest between the TDP and YSR Congress Party in AP elections in 2014 was tight, TDP stood victorious as people put their faith in the proven leadership of N. Chandrababu Naidu, as against Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy who was still seen as a political novice. 
Now again, the Telugu Desam Party has come up with the slogan “Mee Bhavishyathu, naa bhadyatha (Your future is my responsibility),” indicating that the party will make the state a model for other states in India if Chandrababu is back as the Chief Minister. This time, however, working a slogan on the lines of TDP’s, YSR Congress party has come up with “Ravali Jagan Kavali Jagan (We want Jagan, we need Jagan)”. 
Going by this, one wonders whether the will TDP get lucky this time too, with its catchy slogan? May 23rd will reveal the verdict! 

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