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Andhra Octopus Prefers Silence This Time!

Andhra Octopus Prefers Silence This Time!

It has been a long time since one has heard about industrialist-turned-former Congress MP from Vijayawada Lagadapati Rajagopal, who shot into fame with his “pepper spray” incident in Lok Sabha in February 2014 to stop the passage of bill on bifurcation of combined Andhra Pradesh.

After quitting the Congress party and active politics later, Lagadapati became more popular in conducting pre-poll surveys.

He predicted the Telugu Desam Party victory in Andhra Pradesh and the Bharatiya Janata Party victory at the Centre in 2014 and it proved to be accurate.

This fetched him the nick-name Andhra Octopus (a comparison to Octopus which was predicting the victory teams in the World Cup football matches). He floated a survey agency in the name of RG-Flash Team, which used to conduct pre-poll surveys.

But his predictions began backfiring since 2018. In the 2018 assembly elections in Telangana, Lagadapati predicted that the People’s Front, comprising the Congress, the TDP and the Communists, would win 65 out of 119 assembly seats in Telangana with plus or minus 10. 

“The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (now BRS) will get 35 assembly seats, plus or minus 10 seats. While the BJP will get 5-7 seats, independents will get seven seats, plus or minus two seats,” he said then. 

But his predictions proved completely disastrous, as the BRS got 88 assembly seats, restricting the people’s front to just around 24 seats. The BJP got just one seat.

Yet, Lagadapati continued to conduct surveys.

In 2019 assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, he predicted that the Telugu Desam Party would come back to power in Andhra Pradesh for a second term by winning 100 out of 175 assembly seats and the YSRC would end up with a maximum of 72 seats.

But YSRCP led by Jagan Mohan Reddy secured an unprecedented victory winning 151 seats, restricting the TDP to just 23 seats.

After that Lagadapati wound up his survey team and declared that he would not make any pre-poll or exit-poll surveys hereafter.

After the conclusion of the polling in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, Lagadapati preferred to remain tight-lipped over the outcome of the elections.

After casting his vote in a polling station in Vijayawada (East), he went round some other polling booths to know the people’s pulse.

When asked, Lagadapati said he has not been active in politics nor does he have any interest in coming back into active politics.

“I have stopped doing surveys in 2019 itself and so, I have not shown any interest in finding out the people’s mind in the current elections,” he said.

Lagadapati, however, said he was surprised at the enthusiasm shown by the people in casting their vote.

“Lakhs of people have come from Hyderabad to Andhra Pradesh to exercise their franchise. I am amazed at their enthusiasm in voting. It is a good sign,” he said, adding the real people’s verdict will be known only on June 4.


Tags: Andhra Pradesh Lagadapati Rajagopal