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What YSRCP’s sweep of MPTC & ZPTC polls means for AP

The ruling YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh made a clean sweep in Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) polls. The party bagged a majority of the ZPTC and the MPTCs.
 
The ruling party has secured a staggering 547 Zilla Parishads Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) out of declared 553 and 7,284 Mandal Parishads Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) out of 8,083. Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was a distant second with just three seats while the CPI-M and independents won a seat each.
 
Out of 659 ZPTCs, the election was unanimous for 126 seats while 11 candidates expired in March 2020 when the poll process had started. The SEC withheld results in eight ZPTCs for various reasons.
 
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were put in place to ensure the exercise is carried out in a peaceful manner. As per the prohibitory orders, candidates and their supporters have been asked to abstain from bursting crackers and taking out processions as Section 30 of the Police Act will also be in force.
 
Meanwhile, polls were conducted for 515 ZPTC seats and 7,220 MPTC seats on April 8, while the original date for results was scheduled for April 10. Following this, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had stalled the counting process following petitions filed by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Jana Sena Party (JSP).
 
A single Judge Bench cancelled the elections, hearing a petition filed by TDP leader Varla Ramaiah that the four-week mandatory period of Model Code of Conduct was not taken into consideration from the date of announcement of election schedule to the conduct of elections on April 8. However, a division bench of the High Court had on Thursday given the nod for the counting of votes in the MPTC and ZPTC elections that were conducted in April.  
 
Welfare schemes working well
 
Amidst this backdrop, it is important to note that in the Assembly and Parliamentary elections held in April 2019, the YSRCP won 151 out of the 175 Assembly seats, 22 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. 
 
This March, YSRCP won in all 12 municipal corporations, and 74 of the 75 municipalities and nagar panchayats. In panchayat elections held in February, although it is not fought on party symbols, YSRCP-backed candidates won 10,536 panchayats out of 13,081.
 
This win for YSRCP has been something that was on cards. While it is clear that the ruling party won in over 500 ZPTCs, it is indicative of how the welfare schemes have been working for the Jagan-led government. 
 
Despite the state being in financial doldrums, the government has been ensuring disbursal of money and welfare schemes to voters. This, according to political analysts, has worked for the party. Meanwhile, it also reflects how the TDP needs to begin gaining ground and strengthen itself before the next election in 2024. It also is a reflection of the weakening of TDP’s ground-level support while the BJP and Jana Sena are currently negligible in state politics. 

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