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Tirupati by-poll: BJP Should Thank Pawan!

Tirupati by-poll: BJP Should Thank Pawan!

The outcome of the by-elections to Tirupati parliamentary seat was completely on expected lines with the YSR Congress party candidate Dr M Gurumurthy bagging the seat with a thumping margin of more than 2.70 lakh votes over his nearest Telugu Desam Party rival Panabaka Lakshmi.

Though the victory margin of the YSRC was not as high as the party leaders projected, it was nevertheless significant, as it secured 1.64 per cent more than what it got in 2019 general elections.

Surprisingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which expectedly lost its deposit, polled 57,080 votes, which is more than three times the number of votes the party had polled – 16,125 votes, in May 2019. 

While then BJP candidate Bommi Srihari Rao could get only 1.22 per cent of votes in 2019 which was less than NOTA votes (1.66 per cent), its present candidate – retired IAS officer K Ratna Prabha got 5.17 per cent, a significant jump of 3.95 per cent votes, this time, though it resulted in loss of deposit for the party.

Analysts say despite the defeat, the BJP could get at least 57,000 votes only because of Jana Sena Party led by actor Pawan Kalyan. It was an open secret that the BJP leaders banked more on Pawan Kalyan and his community votes, besides his fan base.

The party leaders have also made every attempt to even cash in on the success of Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab and the Jagan government’s legal battle with the distributors over screening of special shows and increase in ticket prices in the first few days.

Otherwise, there were virtually no takers for the BJP or its candidate as Ratna Prabha has no political base or background in Tirupati.

“So, the BJP should not think it has gained significantly in the state with a marginal jump in vote share, as whatever little credit it has to, it should give it to Pawan Kalyan,” an analyst said.

But one wonders whether the BJP would ever do that.

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