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Is Tirupati Bypoll a test for a flailing TDP?

Poll fever has once again gripped Andhra Pradesh again even before the dust settled after elections to panchayats and municipalities. All eyes are on the April 17 by-election to the Tirupati Lok Sabha (SC reserved) constituency, which was necessitated due to the untimely demise of sitting YSRCP MP Balli Durgaprasad Rao last year. 
 
On the face of it, it looks like a walk in the park for the ruling YSRCP, which is riding high on its landslide victory in the local polls. So confident is it of its candidate Goorumurthy’s win that it is eyeing an over three lakh majority — up from 2.28 lakh in 2019.
 
There are many things working for the party — the most important being the delivery of welfare schemes by the current government. Besides, it won the seat in 2014 too, garnering a 47.84% vote share and increased it to 55.03% in 2019. To turn the tide would be a Herculean task for the opposition. 
 
The Telugu Desam Party, which has fielded time-tested candidate Panabaka Lakshmi, will be going into the fray with its back to the wall after a string of defeats from 2019 to the more recent local polls. 
 
Nonetheless, determined to put up a strong fight, the TDP has deputed 170 in-charges and coordinators. Party insiders believe it could be a moral victory if the TDP can at least bring down the winning margin of the YSRCP, which has an unassailable lead among SCs who constitute a major chunk of the voters.
 
Looks like it is going to be a face-saving battle for the TDP more than a political battle! 

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