Tirupati: The BJP will be contesting the forthcoming Parliamentary bypoll from the Tirupati seat in Andhra Pradesh, with the support of the Janasena Party.
“In a joint meeting of Janasena party president Pawan Kalyan and Andhra BJP president Somu Veerraju, it has been unanimously decided that the alliance candidate for Tirupati Lok Sabha by-poll would be from BJP,” said Sunil Deodhar, BJP national secretary and party’s AP co-in charge, in a statement on Friday.
Deodhar, Kalyan, Veerraju, and Nadendla Manohar went into a huddle on Friday to decide on which party candidate should contest the by-poll.
Following the meeting, Kalyan, the actor-politician who founded Janasena in 2014 issued a statement, confirming that a decision has been taken by the party to support the BJP candidate.
“This decision has been taken after several consultations with the BJP central leadership. Several rounds of talks have been held with BJP top leaders Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and national general secretary BL Santosh,” said Kalyan.
The actor claimed that right from the beginning, Janasena leaders have been affirmed that the seat would be left for the BJP if it fields a strong and eligible candidate.
“This decision was taken after clearly understanding that the BJP candidate is eligible to contest the seat successfully. Moreover, the fact that the BJP won the seat in the 1999 elections was also taken into consideration,” he added.
Kalyan said that BJP would take strong action against the alleged temple attacks with preventive steps and claimed that the saffron party’s national leadership is getting ready to take the lead in ending the “role of anti-social elements” in Tirupati just as it had “done in the Hyderabad civic body polls”, which Janasena had failed to contest.
He claimed that the BJP assured of Tirupati’s development, already a globally renowned town housing one of the richest temples, not only as an important holy shrine but strive for its all-round development.
The actor-politician claimed that they were witnesses to the atrocities committed by YSRCP activists in the recent panchayat polls and municipal polls.
“The effort of the Janasena is to join hands with the BJP in the Tirupati by-election to check the atrocities being committed by the YSRCP. It is felt that the Janasena activists accept the decision and work for the victory of the BJP,” Kalyan claimed.
In his statement, Kalyan strived to address his party cadres and convince them to work for BJP’s victory. However, many Janasena supporters wanted their party candidate to fight the election.
Though the BJP is taking this election very prestigiously, it remains to be seen what’s store for the party as denying special category status, railway zone, and the recent Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) privatization announcement may not be great advantages to the party.
In the 2009 Assembly elections, Kalyan’s brother and Prajay Rajyam Party (PRP) founder Chiranjeevi won from Tirupati and lost from Palakollu. It is believed that Tirupati holds some advantage to Janasesna.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the principal opposition party in the southern state was the first party to declare its candidate for the by-poll, Panabaka Lakshmi.
While the ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) is yet to announce the candidate, there is some gossip that Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has already zeroed in on the candidate.
Tirupati Parliamentary constituency is an SC reserved seat, which fell vacant after YSRCP MP Balli Durga Prasad succumbed to Coronavirus some months ago.
Prasada’s son Balli Kalyan Chakravarthy was recently unanimously elected as an MLC under the MLA quota.
The Election Commission (EC) is yet to declare the polling date for this high-stakes election.