It appears to be more or less certain that there will be early elections to Lok Sabha as well as state assemblies of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Indications from Delhi are that the elections would be held in the last week of October 2018, which means the general elections are advanced by almost six months.
While the NDA is pretty confident of retaining power for the second successive time, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana is also comfortably placed, if not in a commanding position, and might come to power again, thanks to the weak opposition.
However, the situation is a little fluid in Andhra Pradesh. The political observers have started analysing as to who would benefit from the early elections: ruling Telugu Desam Party headed by N Chandrababu Naidu YSR Congress party headed by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Coming to Naidu, early elections never benefitted the TDP, going by its past history. During the NTR regime, the TDP went for early polls in 1989 and lost the elections.
In 2004, too, Naidu went for advanced elections along with the NDA, hoping that he could cash in on the sympathy wave following the attack on his life by the Naxalites at Alipiri. But, he lost miserably in the elections.
This time, too, Naidu is left with little time. He has to complete the Polavaram project as promised and also take up large scale construction of capital city to impress the people – and both of them are difficult tasks.
He has no money in the exchequer even to pay salaries regularly; and so, he cannot afford to launch a series of welfare schemes to appease people at this stage. If he has to do it, he has to stop all developmental works and borrow money.
However, the advantage with him is that he has perfectly built the party network and has almost finalised the candidates in all the constituencies by now. That way, he battle ready.
On the other hand, YSRC chief Jagan has already launched his aggressive campaign against the government and his padayatra is coming at a time when the election atmosphere is building up in the state.
If he can sustain the tempo by October, he will be in an advantageous position. However, he has little time in strengthening the party and does not have right candidates in right places. If he fails to pick up the suitable candidates, all his efforts would go down the drain.
The another disadvantage for him is the court cases because of which he cannot pump in big money in the elections, compared to Naidu. If he can overcome these problems, he can gain the upper hand.