BJP to contest Tirupati bypolls unanimously, Jana Sena withdraws

As The Better Andhra reported earlier, a ‘unanimous decision’ was made by the BJP-Jana Sena alliance to field a leader from the saffron party for the Tirupati parliamentary byelection, Union Minister and State party in-charge V. Muraleedharan said. The party’s central election committee (CEC) will finalise the candidate soon.

“Leading the ‘fight for the people and by the people,’ a BJP’s candidate, backed by Jana Sena will fight Tirupati bypolls. A unanimous decision was taken at a meeting attended by Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan and BJP State president Somu Veerraju. 

“BJP’s victory march will begin from Tirupati. BJP and Jana Sena Party will expose the shady designs of YSRCP and TDP that undermine the beliefs of devotees. These satraps’ self-serving and partisan approach deprived the people of Tirupati. Time to put an end to such trends,” Muraleedharan tweeted.

In Hyderabad, Pawan Kalyan, Somu Veerraju, BJP national secretary and State co-incharge Sunil Deodhar, and Jana Sena’s political affairs committee chairman Nadendla Manohar went into a huddle before the announcement was made.  Party’s co-incharge Sunil Deodhar and Somu Veerraju also claimed that the decision was unanimous. 

Though the BJP has always maintained that its candidate will contest the by-election and has been strategising accordingly especially by taking up issues related to temples, a crack was visible between the allies when Pawan Kalyan, in January, said that his party cadre were of the opinion that the saffron party was ‘disregarding’ Jana Sena. 

In fact, the actor-turned-politician went on to say that the understanding he shared with the national leadership of the BJP lacked at the State-level. The following day, Somu  Veerraju met Pawan Kalyan and both the parties held multiple meetings after that.

Party’s co-incharge Sunil Deodhar and Veerraju also claimed that the decision was unanimous. “It has been unanimously decided that the alliance candidate for Tirupati Lok Sabha by-election will be from the BJP. The CEC will announce the candidate,” Deodhar tweeted.

While several names including former chief secretary of Karnataka Ratnaprabha were reportedly considered by the party, BJP leaders said that the decision will be taken by the CEC. The CEC is scheduled to meet on Saturday to clear names for poll-bound States and union territories. “But, for Tirupati, the name may be announced only after the poll date is announced,” a senior leader noted. 

Rumours are rife that the BJP, given that it runs the government at the Centre, is already aware of the Tirupati by-election dates. However, the saffron party is waiting for the CEC to make the official announcement for the polling dates. 

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