The situation appears to be fluid in Tirupati with no party announcing its Lok Sabha candidate officially, yet. Congress will most probably field its incumbent Member of Parliament Chinta Mohan for the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat.
In 2009, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) fielded an ex-cop Varla Ramaiah, who lost to Chinta Mohan with a narrow margin as he was considered a non-local. After that Mr. Ramaiah has been functioning as the party’s spokesperson at State-level and could not strike a chord with his constituents. In 1999 and 2004, TDP left Tirupati seat to its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In a sense, the party does not have a suitable candidate to be pitted against Congress candidate since 1999.
V. Varaprasad, an ex-bureaucrat, who fought in vain in 2009, on behalf of Praja Rajyam has recently joined YSR Congress and appears to be the probable candidate.
The burden of bifurcation hangs precariously, as a Damocles sword on Congress in Seemandhra region. This issue will add to the anti-incumbency factor of the incumbent candidate. TDP is not at all scouting for a candidate which indicates its preparedness for an alliance with BJP. Whereas, YSR Congress is yet to officially announce Mr. Varaprasad as its candidate.
BJP is likely to project S. Munisubramanyam, a municipal contractor, as its candidate. He expects the ‘Modi Wave’ to turn the tide in his favour and has already launched enrolment drives chanting the Modi mantra.
In case the TDP-BJP alliance materialises, it will certainly be in favour of the combine. The alliance is also expected to steal the fizz out of the so called ‘Jagan Wave’. Such an alliance is nothing new to Tirupati as 1999 saw BJP candidate late N. Venkataswamy, a retired bureaucrat, winning the lone seat for the party in Rayalaseema.
In fact it was the only time; Dr. Mohan lost an election since 1984 in Tirupati, which indicates that the alliance will be a formidable anti-Congress platform.