Buoyed by the success in the panchayat and municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) is confident that it will achieve a hat trick in the upcoming Tirupati Lok Sabha by- elections as well.
The YSRCP is keen on winning the Tirupati seat and the party leaders are confident that they will retain the sitting seat. The YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday selected Dr M. Gurumurthy as the party’s candidate for the Tirupati Parliamentary by-election. Though he is new to politics, he is highly educated and is quite aware of the problems of the people at the field level, as he had also traversed with YS Jagan during the Praja Sankalpa Yatra. Local leaders and ministers are predicting that as CM Jagan kept his word, this will prove favourable and bring majority of votes for Dr Gurumurthy.
The Tirupati Parliament has seven assembly segments, including Chittoor and Nellore districts. As part of the poll strategy, the YSRCP has appointed key ministers as in-charges for these seven constituencies. Perni Nani for Tirupati, Gautam Reddy for Srikalahasti, Kodali Nani for Satyavedu, Kurasala Kannababu for Sulurupeta, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy for Venkatagiri, Adimulapu Suresh for Sarvepalli and Anil Kumar Yadav for Gudur. Meanwhile the overall responsibilities have been handed over to Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy and TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy.
The YSRCP Chief is said to have instructed the party in-charges and cadre to not become complacent and ensure that the Tirupati bye-poll result creates such an impact that the whole country should make note of it.
There are about 16.5 lakh voters in the Tirupati Parliamentary constituency. While 13.20 lakh people voted in the 2019 elections, YSRCP secured 7.22 lakh votes and the TDP got 4.94 lakh votes. With 80 per cent polling registered, YSRCP won with a majority of 2.28 lakh votes. This time around, the YSRCP plans to secure a majority of 4 lakh by increasing the polling percentage and getting more votes.
Tirupati Lok Sabha seat (reserved for SC) fell vacant after incumbent Balli Durga Prasad succumbed to coronavirus in 2020. The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was the first one to announce Panabaka Lakshmi as its candidate, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to make a formal announcement as it will be done by the party’s national leadership.
Whether actor Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party (JSP) will contest the Tirupati by-election or back the BJP's candidate is yet to be announced as there are rumours of rift between the two parties. This was after the recent drubbing of the both the BJP and Jana Sena in the recently held municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh. The YSRCPs clean sweep at both the panchayat and municipal elections clearly indicates where the favour of the public lies, is what political analysts say.
Also Read: Pawan Kalyan Hints At Jana Sena-BJP Split ?
The Election Commission of India issued a notification that the by-poll will be held on April 17. In a Gazette notification issued on March 23, the last date for filing nominations by contestants is March 30 and April 3 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations. Polling will be on April 17 and counting of votes on May 2.