“Shape up or ship out,” the YSRCP has made the message clear to its MLAs.
An internal assessment conducted by the party’s top boss and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy should worry at least 40 sitting MLAs of the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh.
In all likelihood, they may be shown the door since they do not stand a chance to get a party nomination to contest the 2024 polls.
Jagan’s target of clinching all 175 Assembly segments may be an ambitious one, but he has been making moves in that direction. He has commissioned a survey besides getting an I-PAC report on the performance of the MLAs.
He is also periodically assessing the participation of MLAs in the mass outreach programme, Gadapa Gadapaku Mana Prabhuthvam.
It’s not just the participation but the public reaction/response to MLAs is also being monitored by the party’s central leadership. The field operations teams of I-PAC have been helping the party to get the right feedback from the ground.
Highly placed YSRCP sources told South First that a few MLAs facing resistance in their constituencies have been alerted about the same.
Panic and open defiance
Panic has set in among MLAs with the party’s central leadership indirectly hinting to them to mend their ways and improve their ‘approval ratings’ in their respective segments.
An example party sources pointed out about MLAs turning panicky is the episode of Nellore rural segment MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy.
His open defiance against the party leadership is being viewed as an arm-twisting tactic since he felt that he may not get a party ticket for the 2024 polls.
However, YSRCP appeared unperturbed as the party leadership has already identified potential alternative candidates in several segments.
“In a way, it’s good that such episodes happened one-and-a-half years before the polls. We will have an opportunity to assess and reassess our winning strategy, especially in such problematic segments where sitting MLAs are on a weak wicket,” a senior YSRCP functionary told South First.
“Overall, the government enjoys popularity among the people due to its welfare schemes. But in some places, the local MLAs are facing some issues due to varied reasons,” he added.
Factors such as MLAs being inaccessible to the general public and also party cadres in their respective segments are the main reasons for the poor approval ratings of the MLAs.
YSRCP MLAs upbeat over Gadapa Gadapaku
The YSRCP’s mega outreach door-to-door campaign, Gadapa Gadapaku Mana Prabhuthvam — or Government at Every Doorstep — launched in May last helped Jagan reassess winning strategies.
Some representatives, who feared public ire due to the lack of any visible development, are now the most satisfied.
“Initially, when our party supremo announced the Gadapa Gadapaku programme we were a little sceptical due to the ‘environment’ created by one section of the media saying as if the state is in a shambles and the people are ready to revolt,” a minister from coastal Andhra Pradesh told South First.
“But when we hit the ground, the situation is entirely different. Now, we want to visit them more often with the kind of positive feedback we have been getting from most of the households. Of course, in some areas that have majority of TDP sympathisers, we are facing some resistance, which is quite natural,” he added.
An MLA from the NTR district told South First that they were surprised with the ‘feel good factor’ the government has among the masses.