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All eyes on Tirupati bypolls

All eyes in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh will be on the Tirupati by-poll as it will be the first major election after the 2019 polls.

Mattila Gurumoorthy, the 36-year-old physiotherapist who has been confirmed as the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) candidate for the forthcoming Tirupati Lok Sabha by-poll has been a lifelong follower of Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy family.

Born to Maddila Munikrishnaiah, Gurumoorthy comes from a humble Dalit background from the Mala caste. Both his parents are uneducated and the family practices the Hindu faith.

The agricultural family hails from Mannasamudram village in Yerpedu Mandal of Srikalahasti constituency.

The physiotherapist is married to C. Navya Kiran and is blessed with a boy and a girl.

He pursued physiotherapy at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Science (SVIMS) and secured 56th rank in the entrance examination and got qualified for manual therapy as well.

Gurumoorthy’s association with Reddy and his family started around 2006 when he met the then chief minister requesting him to establish the AP state physiotherapy council.

Following a favorable outcome with his request, Gurumoorthy became a strong supporter and follower of Rajasekhar Reddy from then on.

He accompanied Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was his personal physiotherapist all through his 3,648-km-long Praja Sankalpa Yatra padayatra (marathon walkathon).

Walking along with Jagan Mohan Reddy gave him an opportunity to see the realities of the state across its length and breadth, including observing the socio-economic conditions.

Gurumoorthy was a team member of the YSRCP’s 2014 election campaign. In the 2019 polls, he served as a team member of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mother Y.S. Vijayamma’s election campaign.

As YSRCP’s candidate, he will compete with principal opposition Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) challenger Panabaka Lakshmi and yet to be named Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate.

The candidate announcement comes at a time when the ruling party is on a high with the recent thumping triumph in the urban and rural local body polls.

Tirupati Lok Sabha seat (reserved for SC) fell vacant after incumbent Balli Durga Prasad succumbed to coronavirus in 2020.

Following his death, Reddy accommodated his son Balli Kalyan Chakravarthy is an MLC.

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