AP just witnessed one of the most keenly fought elections in India. It was a touch and go election and a difference of a mere 1.9 per cent of votes has decided the winner.
Even the best of the political crystal ball-gazers were unable to accurately predict the outcome and hence there was as much interest on AP's electoral outcome as it was in case of the national outcome.
YS Jagan's YSRCP has indeed lost by a whisker. Even a cursory perusal of the election results tells us that it was truly a touch and go affair. While pundits and commoners would debate as to what went wrong for YSRCP and what went right for the TDP, one explanation that is being put forward is TDP's electoral promise of crop loan waiver.
Chandrababu Naidu had promised to waive crop loans and this has made many farmers to veer towards him. The impact of this is most prominent in the twin Godavari districts. Even during the electioneering there were voices within the YSRCP and from his supporters state-wide that wanted Jagan to come up with some that is as alluring as the TDP bait. But, Jagan steadfastly refused to do so. On principle, he said it was a promise that can never be fulfilled.
He argued that as a state that has just lost his capital and is deprived of a major part of its resouces, AP needs massive investments. The coming five years are going to be years of relocation, reconstruction and re-building for Andhra Pradesh. He also strongly felt that Rs 80000 crore needed for loan waiver was an unbearable burden on the nascent state.
More importantly, he believed that giving assurances that cannot be implemented would hit the credibility of both the leader and his party. Hence, he prefered to stick to his principle. His belief was short-cuts would cut you short. Five more years of wait was prefered to a shortcut to power.
This may have cost him dear.He may have lost on opportunity to rule the state for five years. But, staying steadfast to his principles has earned him respect.
Nation-wide, this election was more about development. All over the country, the parties that doled out unimplementable promises have been rejected. The leaders who promised development and showed vision of effective leadership, have won in flying colours. It is only in Andhra Pradesh, which has a penchant to behave differently, that this trend was reversed.