Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy today ridiculed the TDP, saying that the party did not have enough support in the state to win the ongoing Panchayat elections.
Speaking to the media, Reddy alleged that the leaders of the TDP, including party supremo Chandrababu Naidu, were speaking like "insane" persons.
"Knowing that they cannot win the Panchayat elections, the TDP leaders have been spreading misinformation about the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and our government. However, this will not work. The results of the first phase
of the elections have clearly shown so. Even in the second phase, whose results were announced today, we can see that our party has emerged as the single largest party again," he said.
(Polling for the second phase was held between 6:30 am and 3:30 pm today. The YSRCP has won 2,635 seats so far, while the TDP has won 558. The BJP-Jana Sena alliance has won only a meagre 37 seats whereas independent candidates have won 93 seats. Polling booths recorded a turnout of 81.61%. The elections were meant to be held for 3,328 Panchayat sarpanch posts. However, of this 539 sarpanches have already been elected unanimously while three villages did not file any nominations. Elections were also held to elect 20,817 ward members.)
The minister expressed his hope that similar results would be replicated in the remaining third and fourth phases of the rural local body elections, and reiterated his claim that the results of the first two phases had clearly shown the "popularity and dominance" of Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and the YSRCP in the state.
Reddy then assailed the leaders of the TDP for urging the State Election Commission (SEC) to suspend the elections in Punganoor, Tambalapalle and Macharla, and alleged that the latter were filing cases in courts of law as they did not have the "calibre" to win the elections. He also rubbished Naidu's claims about malpractice and miscalculations in the conduct of the elections, and attacked some media channels for "toeing the TDP line".
The minister had recently found himself in some trouble with the SEC when the body's head Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar had directed DGP Damodar Goutam Sawang to place him under house arrest
till February 21.
The SEC Commissioner had said that the decision had been taken to "ensure the free and fair conduct" of the Panchayat elections in the state. However, the AP High Court had later suspended the order