Tirupati : The BJP has fielded former IAS officer K Ratna Prabha from Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency in Andhra Pradesh. The by-poll to the Tirupati seat will be held on April 17
Ratna Prabha served as Karnataka's first woman chief secretary when Siddaramaiah was chief minister of the state and she had also served as CEO of Visakhapatnam SEZ during Nara Chandrababu Naidu's regime in undivided AP. The 1981-batch IAS joined BJP after her retirement in 2019.
Though some Dalit leaders including retired IAS officer Dasari Srinivasulu and former IMA president Dr. Daggumati Srihari Rao lobbied hard for the ticket, BJP's central leadership opted for Ratna Prabha.
The TDP too has nominated woman candidate Panabaka Lakshmi for the by-election which was necessitated following the death of sitting MP Balli Durgaprasada Rao of YSRC. Panabaka Lakshmi lost the 2019 election to Durga Prasad Rao.
The ruling party has fielded Dr. M Gurumurthy from the constituency. Dr. Gurumurthy is the physiotherapist of chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He was born in Mannasamudram village under Yerpedu mandal in Chittor district. Though his father and mother were both uneducated, they did their best to make sure he received a good education. He is married to C. Navya Kiran and the couple have two children, a boy and a girl.
Mr. Gurumoorthy is a follower of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekar Reddy since 2006 when he was studying physiotherapy at SVIMIS University. While leading the students there he got an opportunity to meet Y.S.R several times. The former CM also extended his support to Mr. Gurumoorthy's efforts to establish the AP State Physiotherapy Council. Since then, he has been a staunch supporter of YSR.
He helped the YSRCP's municipal election campaign and the 2014 election campaign. He also served as Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy's physiotherapist during his "Praja Sankalpa Yatra" in November 2017. In 2019, Mr. Gurumoorthy served as a member of Y.S. Vijayamma's election campaign.
Meanwhile the Congress has approved six-time MP Dr Chinta Mohan as their party candidate for the ensuing election. The man's political debut goes back tp 1984 when he was first elected from Tirupati as a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate. Then, followed by five more stints as an MP from the same constituency, as a Congress parliamentarian.
The last date for filing nominations is March 30. Polling is scheduled to be held on April 17 and counting of votes on May 2. Buoyed by the landslide in the recently concluded urban local body polls, the ruling YSR Congress seems to be taking success in the coming by-poll for granted.
The YSRC won the Tirupati Lok Sabha (Scheduled Caste reserved) seat in 2014 and again in 2019, improving its vote share from 47.84 percent to 55.03 percent. Balli Durga Prasad Rao, who won in 2019 by a record margin of 2.28 lakh votes, died of COVID-19 on September 16 in 2020 necessitating the by-poll.