Hyderabad: After a lot of suspense, BJP announced that Dr. Panugothu Ravi Kumar will be its candidate for the Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly seat. A member of Scheduled Tribe, Dr. Kumar comes from the Lambada community.
BJP ignored other contenders including K Niveditha Reddy, who last week filed her nomination without waiting for the official announcement. She later resigned from BJP after the party decided to field Dr. Kumar. Similarly, Kadari Anjaiah Yadav was also the frontrunner for the seat. He quit the BJP party and joined TRS on Tuesday.
Dr. Ravi Kumar who runs a 50-bed hospital in Nagarjuna Sagar's Halia town was Mandal in-charge of Congress Party until 2020. Later he joined BJP.
"A candidate is selected after an elaborate process. It is a decision of the party, not an individual. Party wanted a change and that is why Dr. Ravi Kumar was given a ticket. This constituency has a lot of ST population and they never got the representation in the assembly. We wanted to give the opportunity to weaker section and Schedule Tribe," said Krishna Sagar Rao, Spokesperson, Telangana BJP.
BJP said they are going with focused agenda of development. The party promised to bring development to the doors of the voters of the Nagarjuna Sagar. "There is unilateralism and brazen push of policies in the state assembly. There is hardly any opportunity for discussion and debate. Therefore Dr. Kumar can raise the issues of the people," said Krishna Sagar Rao.
BJP also said leaders from the centre may come to a campaign akin to GHMC elections.
The by-election is scheduled to be held on April 17. Tuesday was the last day for filing nominations. The seat had fallen vacant after the death of Nomula Narsimhaiah of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). In 2018, Nomula Narsimhaiah had defeated his nearest rival Jana Reddy of Congress by a margin of 7,771 votes.
Candidates from all the major political parties filed their nomination papers for the Nagarjunasagar by-poll on Tuesday.
Former Minister and seventime MLA K. Jana Reddy filed his papers as the Congress candidate, while Nomula Bhagat, son of deceased MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah, filed the papers as the TRS candidate. BJP candidate Panugothu Ravi Kumar also filed his papers.