TIRUPATI: With the sitting MLA K Chiranjeevi having been elected to the Rajya Sabha, this famous pilgrim town is witnessing a flurry of political activity as by-election for the Tirupati Assembly seat will be imminent. Jumping the gun, the YSR Congress Party has launched a mass contact programme.
B Karunakar Reddy, the party's central governing council member and former TTD chairman, spearheaded a three-week-long `Ward Bata' focusing on civic issues in municiapl wards which culminated in a `maha dharna' at the municipal corporation office last week.
Reddy, who had unsuccessfully fought the Assembly election in 2009 and lost to PRP founder-president Chiranjeevi by a margin of about 10,000 votes, is keen on testing his luck again.
A close follower of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy and confident of YSRCP president and Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy, he is sure to get the full backing of the party.
Reddy has already got into election mode and is busy planning his strategy for the election.
The TDP has been more or less in a state of inertia with many of its prominent local leaders distancing themselves from the party after the general election in 2009.
K Sankar Reddy, a close friend of Chandrababu Naidu, has been keeping aloof ever since he lost the election in 2009.
Former MLA Chadalavada Krishnamurthy, who has good personal and business relations with Chiranjeevi, openly worked for the victory of the PRP chief in 2009. He too has been keeping away from the TDP.
Party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, who is fully aware of his party's strengths and weaknesses in the constituency, held discussions with local and district leaders to reactivate the party machinery.
After much efforts, he succeeded in bringing back Krishnamurthy, belonging to the dominant Balija community, into the party and appointed him as Tirupati constituency incharge on Friday.
This has given enough indication that he will be the best choice for the party in the coming byelection. Chadalavada, who was TDP MLA during 1999- 2004, has a good following in the town.
The ruling party too is not lagging behind.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kuma Reddy, who hails from the district, held a meeting with leaders of the district during his recent visit to Tirupati.
Its former MLA M Venkataramana is trying his best to get the party ticket and so is mines and geology minister Galla Aruna Kumari for her son Jayadev Galla.
Interestingly, there are not many aspirants from any party because of the fact that the elected representative will hold the Assembly membership for a short period of less than two years but the huge expenditure to incur to win the election will by no means come down.