If exit polls are any indication, Tirupati has already fallen into the YSRCP kitty. It was clear from the beginning that the TDP could not work up sentiment against the YSRCP. It has failed miserably to rev up the campaign. Chandrababu Naidu and Lokesh made guest appearances and left the fight to the local leaders, who were not inspired enough.
Mediapersons, who saw the polling unfold in April 17, have seen no enthusiasm on the part of the TDP cadres. The leaders were not seen on the ground and the customary inspection of the polling booths was not there. Though TDP candidate Panabaka Lakshmi did tour some booths, it clearly looked half-hearted. The YSRCP was clearly well organised and the pro-government voters turned up in significant numbers to vote. Despite the complaints by the BJP of impersonation and rigging, the YSRCP showed clear edge in Tirupati. There was utter demoralisation on the part of the TDP, observers said. The TDP, which polled 38 per cent votes in the civic body and panchayat elections, may fall below 28 per cent votes.
The biggest surprise, if any, in Tirupati bypoll is the improved performance of the BJP. The BJP is said to have polled around 7 to 8 per cent votes. This is a big achievement considering that the party got less than one per cent in the recent elections to the panchayats.