BJP eyeing to replace candidate for Tirupati Lok Sabha amidst controversy

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BJP, Tirupati, Parliament, Vara Prasad, Candidate Change, 2024 elections

TIRUPATI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finds itself embroiled in controversy over the nomination of V. Varaprasad Rao for the esteemed Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency, leading to reports of the party’s quest for an alternative candidate.

In accordance with the seat-sharing agreement among the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP coalition, the Tirupati assembly seat was allocated to the Jana Sena, while the parliamentary seat was entrusted to the BJP.

While the Jana Sena put forth the candidacy of former YSRCP MLA from Chittoor, Arani Sreenivasulu, for the Tirupati assembly seat, the BJP announced former YSRCP MP V. Varaprasad Rao as its contender for the prestigious Tirupati parliamentary seat.

However, this decision has sparked controversy within the BJP ranks, reviving an old dispute from the 2014 general elections. Varaprasad Rao’s previous victory in the Tirupati parliamentary constituency on a YSRCP ticket by a narrow margin of 37,425 votes was challenged by the then BJP candidate Karumanchi Jayaram, who filed an election petition in the High Court, alleging religious bias.

Although the petition remained unresolved for five years and was eventually dismissed, the issue has resurfaced with Varaprasad Rao’s nomination for the 2024 general elections.

Sources within the BJP reveal that dissenting voices within the party have raised concerns over Varaprasad Rao’s candidacy, prompting discussions about finding an alternative candidate.

Among the potential replacements under consideration are former bureaucrat Dasari Srinivasulu, State Secretary S. Muni Subramanyam, and several others, according to BJP insiders.

As the BJP navigates through this internal discord, the outcome of their candidate selection process will be closely watched, given the significance of the Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming general elections.