Tirupati: The Tirupati Lok Sabha by-election scene is interesting because of the candidates who are all seasoned hands. All the major parties, except the YSRCP, have fielded candidates who have something to talk about their past performance. The polling will be held on April 17. The last day of the nomination was Tuesday, 30th March. In all, 26 nominations have been received. The scrutiny will take place on Wednesday. The by-election was necessitated because of the demise of Balli Durga Prasada Rao on 16 September 2020 due to Covid-19.
The ruling YSRCP which is on a song after sweeping the municipal election has nominated Dr. Gurumoorthy, a personal physician to the chief minister. Dr. Gurumoorthy is known to be loyal to the chief minister’s family. He is known as a good doctor. The rest of the candidates fielded by the major parties are seniors unlike Dr Gurumurthy who got into electoral politics for the first time. The Congress and the TDP have nominated former central ministers, Chinta Mohan and Panabaka Lakshmi. Both of them had more than two terms in Lok Sabha and both were ministers. The BJP candidate Ratnaprabha had served the people for 40 years as an able IAS officer. Her husband also is an IAS officer. She worked as chief secretary of Karntaka government.
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While the YSRCP candidate was accompanied by nine ministers including deputy chief minister P. Narayanaswamy and senior minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, two MPs, a number of MLAs and YV Subba Reddy, chairman of the TTD also were there in the crowd. They took out a procession from CR circle to the collectorate. BJP nominee Ratna Prabha, who spoke after filing her nomination, appealed to the people to elect a person who served the public for four decades rather than a person who had served the chief minister as his physician. She defended the BJP government for giving a package instead of special status as promised by the UPA government. The CPM has fielded Yadaiah whose candidature has been supported by the CPI. Chinta Mohan, the Congress candidate, said the YSRCP and TDP chiefs cannot question the BJP government. In order to save democracy in the country people have to vote for the Congress, the only party that can question the BJP.
Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency comprises Tirupati, Srikalahasti, Satyavedu (SC) Assembly constituencies in Chittoor district and Sarvepalli, Venkatagiri, Guduru (SC) and Sullurupeta in Nellore district. While Somu Veerraju, the BJP AP chief announced a 25-member campaign committee and the support of MPs like Sujana Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh and GVL Narasimha Rao. Veerraju has also made things easy for Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan to come and campaign when he announced that the film hero is the chief ministerial candidate of BJP-Jana Sena combine in 2024 assembly elections. Pawan Kalyan is scheduled to campaign on April 3. Bandi Sanjay of Telangana BJP is also scheduled to address a meeting on April 14. All guns will be blazing for the next two weeks.
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