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Pawan, Somu, Lokesh slam Govt for Ruia oxygen deaths

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The Opposition parties are stepping up their attacks on the YCP Government in the wake of oxygen shortage tragedies at different hospitals in Andhra Pradesh. The latest tragic death of over 11 patients for lack of oxygen supply at the Tirupati Ruia Hospital triggered all out criticism from the rival parties.

Jana Senani Pawan Kalyan has demanded the Jaganmohan Reddy regime to take responsibility for the deaths that were happening due to oxygen shortage. There were reports from all over about the patients dying due to this problem in the Government hospitals. Senani decried the YCP regime for not having a proper plan on the oxygen supply chain management till now.

Even BJP AP President Somu Veerraju has blamed the Jagan Reddy regime for its negligence in this time of the Coronavirus rampage in the State. He has advised the YCP leaders to correct their mistakes and take remedial measures immediately.

On the other hand, TDP MLC Nara Lokesh has said that many more deaths took place at the Ruia hospital as per the relatives and eyewitnesses. There were all the Government murders. The CM should wake up from his slumber and show some humanity in this hour of crisis.

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11 Covid patients die as oxygen supply delayed at Tirupati hospital

Tragedy struck the renowned Ruia Hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati on Monday as 11 Covid patients lost their lives due to an interruption in oxygen supply, Chittoor District Collector Harinarayan said.

The district authorities attributed the deaths to a five-minute delay in the arrival of an oxygen tanker at the hospital. However, with the oxygen supply restored immediately, a major tragedy was averted, the Collector said.

Around a thousand patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital. As the oxygen supply got affected all of a sudden, many patients began to choke. Doctors were seen attempting CPR procedures to revive the oxygen-starved patients, while kin of the patients used cardboard pieces to fan and revive them.

An inquiry has been initiated into the incident. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who was apprised of the tragedy, has asked for a report.

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Jagan credits party for record Tirupati LS bypoll win

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has expressed happiness over the party’s emphatic victory in the Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll, for which votes were counted on Sunday.

Taking to Twitter, Reddy complimented YSRCP candidate M. Gurumoorthy and said, “After 23 months of governance, the people have wholeheartedly blessed our government in the Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll. The people who blessed us with a majority of 2.28 lakh votes in Tirupati during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have given us a bigger majority of 2.71 lakh votes as they’re happy with the good deeds of this government.”

The YSRCP candidate polled 6,25,820 votes. In contrast, the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate garnered 3,54,253 votes while the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ratna Prabha polled 57,070 votes.

Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll was necessitated by the death of the YSRCP’s Balli Durgaprasad in September 2020. There were 28 candidates in the fray that saw a concerted battle between the ruling YSRCP, the opposition TDP and the BJP.

Voting for the bypoll had taken place on April 17 with overall voting percentage of 64 per cent.

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Andhra’s ruling YSRCP comfortably retains Tirupati LS seat

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Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP on Sunday retained the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat with a thumping majority over its nearest rival, the TDP.

YSRCP’s M. Gurumoorthy trounced his nearest rival, Panabaka Lakshmi of the TDP, by a margin of 2,71,319 votes.

The YSRCP candidate polled 6,25,820 votes. In contrast, the TDP candidate garnered 3,54,253 votes, while the BJP’s Ratnaprabha polled 57,070 votes.

The YSRCP victory margin of 2.71 lakh votes in the Tirupati bypoll is greater than its victory margin of 2.28 lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The vote counting process was spread over 25 rounds, under strict Covid protocols at 10 halls of the SV University campus in Tirupati, and seven halls of the DKW college.

Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll was necessitated by the death of YSRCP’s sitting member Balli Durgaprasad in September 2020. There were 28 candidates in the fray that saw a concerted battle between the ruling YSRCP, the opposition TDP and the BJP.

Voting for the bypoll had taken place on April 17, with overall turnout of 64 per cent.

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Tirupati exit polls give higher vote share for YCP

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There are only two days remaining for the Tirupati by-election result, which would be announced on May 2. The Sunday result is raising a lot of curiosity on not the final result but on how much majority the YCP would get this time. Amidst this, the pro-YCP media have published two exit poll results. Both the organisations have given a very high vote share for the YCP which is higher compared to the 2019 election.

The Sakshi media published the exit poll result of ‘Aatma Sakshi’ which gave 59.25 percent vote share for the YCP in Tirupati bypoll. This is nearly 10 percent higher than the overall vote share secured by the party in the 2019 assembly election. It gave just 31.25 percent to the TDP, which would be nearly 9 percent less when compared to its 2019 overall vote share. The BJP would get around 7.5 percent.

Whereas, the Aara exit poll gave a whopping Rs. 65.85 percent vote share to the YCP this time. This would come to a huge 15 percent increase in the YCP vote share when compared to 2019. On its part, the TDP would get 23.10 percent which would be nearly 17 percent less compared to 2019. The BJP would get 7.34 percent.

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Tirupati declared as containment zone, curfew from 2 pm!

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The entire Tirupati city was declared as ‘containment zone’ on Monday (today) in the wake of increasing corona cases in the city.

Tirupati municipal corporation commissioner Girisha issued orders to this effect.

He said every division in Tirupathi limits has corona positive cases and for this reason entire city was declared as containment zone.

It was also decided to impose curfew in Tirupati from 2 pm every day.

The Andhra Pradesh government has imposed night curfew across AP from 10 pm to 5 am.

But in Tirupati, it was decided to impose curfew from 2 pm itself to check the spread of coronavirus.

All the traders and commercial establishments have voluntarily come down to close shops by 2 pm every day till the situation improves as corona cases have increased to alarming levels in Tirupati.

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Jana Sena upset with BJP on Tirupati fake voters

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Growing doubts are being expressed from all sides going by the way the BJP top leaders at the State and the Central levels handled the Tirupati by-election. The Jana Sainiks are especially angry that the BJP has forcibly taken away the ticket but has eventually failed to give a tough fight. What is more disturbing is that the BJP Delhi leaders themselves have failed to check the influence of large scale ‘bogus voters’ in the bypoll.

Leaders like GVL Narasimha Rao made eloquent speeches before the bypoll that they would prevent the YCP from using the fake voters. All other Opposition parties, including the Jana Sena, thought that the BJP would use the Central Election Commission to put the YCP leaders in their place. At the time of the 2019 election, the Modi regime used the CEC very conveniently to spoil the Chandrababu Naidu show.

However, nothing of that sort happened in the recent Tirupati bypoll. The BJP top leaders were nowhere to be seen after the polling day. BJP candidate K. Ratna Prabha made some complaints and also filed a petition in the High Court, which would be of no immediate help.

Overall, the Jana Sainiks are now feeling totally upset that the BJP has denied them a golden opportunity to damage the Jagan Reddy party.

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BJP petition in High Court for repoll in Tirupati

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The polling process in the Tirupati assembly segment held on April 17 became highly controversial. It became all the more damaging for the BJP. It is mainly because BJP nominee Ratna Prabha expected more votes in the Tirupati assembly segment. But, on the polling day, bus loads of outsiders arrived in the temple town and cast bogus votes in the very first hours of polling. Some outsiders were even caught with bogus voter identity cards.

Now, the BJP claims that over 40,000 bogus voters have cast their votes in the Tirupati assembly segment alone. The bogus votes problem is also there in the remaining six assembly segments but on a lower scale. Taking a very serious view, the BJP has decided to petition the High Court of Andhra Pradesh seeking repolling in the Tirupati assembly segment.

It may be recalled that a very low voting percentage of just 50.58 was recorded in the Tirupati assembly segment while the remaining six segments reported above 60 percent with some of them even higher than 70 percent. Besides, the higher bogus voting is giving sleepless nights to the BJP.

Going by this, it is clear that the BJP may most likely lose deposit once again in the Tirupati MP seat. That would be very embarrassing for a national party that has hopes of winning the 2024 elections in AP

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Stone pelting in Naidu’s Tirupati campaigning, Naidu sits on flash dharna

Stones were pelted by unknown persons at TDP chief and former AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday (today) while he was addressing a public meeting in Tirupathi to campaign for TDP candidate Panabaka Laxmi for the upcoming Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll on April 17.

This incident created a flutter in the meeting.

Angry TDP activists raised “Jagan down down” slogans to protest the attack on their leaders. They alleged that YSRCP activists attacked Naidu.

Chandrababu also took this incident very seriously and resorted to a flash dharna at the venue.

He sat on the road demanding action against the culprits.

Though police tried hard to convince Naidu to withdraw his protest, he refused to relent.

TDP leaders and cadre also sat on the road along with Naidu in protest.

Naidu said if police fail to give protection to him who is covered under Z-plus security cover, how could they give protection to common people.

Naidu said under Jagan’s rule rowdyism is flourishing in Andhra Pradesh and urged voters to defeat YSRCP in Tirupati to end rowdy rule in the state.

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BJP questions eligiblity of YCP Tirupati nominee

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Just a few days ahead of the April 17 polling, fresh questions are being raised on the eligibility of YCP nominee Dr. Gurumurthy to contest in the Tirupati by-election. The BJP has asserted that Dr. Gurumurthy is not a hindu and hence he is unqualified to contest in the SC reserved Tirupati parliamentary segment.

BJP AP incharge Sunil Deodhar has brought this issue to the force. He has demanded that the election officials take note of this and disqualify the candidature of the YCP nominee. These sudden and unexpected turn of events have put Dr. Gurumurthy into self defense.

In the absence of any alternative, Dr. Gurumurthy has begun providing evidence to show that he is a Hindu. Only the Hindu believers will be considered for the SC and ST status. All those converted to Christianity would not be allowed to enjoy reservations usually given to the SC, STs.

Now, Dr. Gurumurthy has released photos showing his pujas offered to the village deity before submitting his nominations for the Tirupati bypoll. He is blaming the BJP for using cheap gimmicks to get a few votes. Whatever, the BJP plan seemed to have served its purpose.

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Will Tirupati voters elect a new face in by-election?

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Being in power is considered the major advantage for the ruling YCP in the Tirupati by-election. In addition to this, it has won the seat in both 2019 and 2014. As such, the YCP leaders are fully confident of victory. At the same time, they are worried whether they can achieve the goal of winning with a far higher majority in accordance with the instructions of CM Jaganmohan Reddy.

Amid this, political circles are making calculations as to which disadvantages are likely to upset the wishes of the Chief Minister and his party. The immediate disadvantage seems to be the fact that Mr. Jagan Reddy has straightaway put a new face as their party nominee. Dr. Gurumurthy is not known to the YCP party leaders themselves till his candidature was announced.

Analysts are saying that in the 2019 election, there was a Jagan wave in all sections of people and the voters elected whoever was put up by him in that election. Nandigam Suresh was one example as he won the Bapatla parliamentary seat despite being a new face there. But, the situation is no longer the same in this bypoll. Since they are voting to elect an MP, the Tirupati voters are more likely to look at the past two years performance of Jagan Reddy and their party candidate’s capabilities.

Also, the YCP is facing another disadvantage from the too many controversies erupting surrounding the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). Moreover, the general public are also discussing the industries that were brought under the previous TDP regime and the lack of new initiatives under the YCP rule.

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Modi will remove reservations for SC, STs: Panabaka

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The Tirupati bypoll campaign is reaching peak levels now. The rival parties are levelling non-stop and hard hitting allegations against each other. Now, TDP nominee Panabaka Lakshmi has raised her voice against the Prime Minister himself, saying that Mr. Modi is deliberately causing problems for the people by going ahead with the privatisation of the Visakha Steel Plant. This is going on despite all round criticism including the YSRCP.

Ms. Lakshmi feared that going by the Prime Minister’s, there would be no wonder he would also remove all sorts of reservations for the SC, STs in the country. These reservations were provided by Dr. Ambedkar in both jobs and competitive examinations. It was meant for giving a level playing field for the weaker sections. The BJP, which is selling away all public sector units, may one day announce that there would be no reservations for anybody.

The BJP is not strong in Tirupati now. The fight is mainly between the YCP and the TDP. But still, Panabaka Lakshmi is making special mention of the BJP. Analysts say that the TDP has every reason to worry about the BJP presence. If it loses the election by a thin margin, then the BJP might become responsible for it. Any vote split caused by the BJP would harm only the TDP but not the YSRCP or the Congress.

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Jagan tactic to win sympathy in Tirupati bypoll

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Since the days of YSR, their family has been known for making enemies of all others and gaining sympathy from their followers and general public. YSR played the same card while in the Congress. He was branded a perpetual dissident till he became the Chief Minister by projecting himself as the sole saviour of the Congress against the TDP and its friendly media.

Now, YSR son Jaganmohan Reddy is using the same sympathy card with greater smartness. Political circles are by now clear that the unsigned letter from Vijayamma is the handiwork of the Jagan Reddy Advisors. In the letter, they have tried to play the victim card as before. She has blamed the TDP, Chandrababu Naidu, Eenadu-ETV, Andhra Jyothi-ABN, TV5, Pawan Kalyan and such others for targetting their family.

In the process of attacking the rivals, Vijayamma has conveniently ignored the fact that even her slain brother-in-law Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Sunitha was raising doubts against the Jagan regime. Whoever is behind Sunitha Reddy’s Delhi press conference, the TDP, the BJP and Pawan Kalyan have made the Viveka murder a big issue in the Tirupati bypoll.

CM Jagan has smartly brought to the fore the letter politics in the name of his mother. This is obviously to generate sympathy among the voters. Time will tell whether these tactics will work for Jagan ever after the people saw two years of his rule.

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Can TDP face YCP-BJP onslaught in Tirupati?

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The political circles are eagerly waiting to see how the rival parties will clash with their strategies in the Tirupati bypoll. TDP nominee Panabaka Lakshmi has already filed her nomination and started campaigning. YCP nominee Dr M Gurumurthy and BJP nominee K. Ratna Prabha will file their nominations today. While Gurumurthy chose to seek blessings at Dr Ambedkar statue, Ratna Prabha is visiting Tirumala for Sri Vari blessings.

Tirupati parliament segment consists of four assembly segments in the Nellore district and three districts in the Chittoor district. In both these districts, the YCP has gained an indisputable upper hand over the TDP in the 2019 elections. Especially, Chittoor is posing a bigger challenge for Naidu considering rising threat from Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, Chandragiri MLA Chevireddy Bhasker Reddy and their party followers.

It was Peddireddy and Chevireddy who played a crucial role in ensuring a historic defeat to the TDP in the panchayat polls in Chandrababu’s own Kuppam assembly segment in the Chittoor district.

With renewed enthusiasm, the YCP has been claiming that they would aim at a majority of 4 lakh this time. The YCP got 2.28 lakh majority in 2019. On its part, the BJP is threatening to split the TDP vote considerably. Doubtless to say, it is going to be a greater challenge for Naidu to face the YCP-BJP onslaught.

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Ratna Prabha is BJP-JSP nominee in Tirupati

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At long last, the BJP has announced its candidate for the Tirupati bypoll. Karnataka former Chief Secretary and retired IAS Officer K. Ratna Prabha will be the BJP-Jana Sena alliance candidate in the byelection. After prolonged discussions, the BJP top leaders decided on Ratna Prabha candidature given her administrative background.

With this, the battle lines are drawn now. YCP has brought in CM Jagan Reddy’s personal physiotherapist M. Gurumurthy while the TDP has fielded former MP and former Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi. As expected, the BJP has chosen a high-profile former Chief Secretary as its candidate to give a strong fight to the rivals.

Now, going by the track records of the respective candidates, the TDP and the BJP would stand to gain. Both Panabaka Lakshmi and Ratna Prabha have proved themselves in their fields. Panabaka Lakshmi has been in politics for several decades and served as an MP for several times already. Ratna Prabha has earned a name for herself as an IAS officer and she has also served in AP on deputation for sometime.

The YCP candidate has no major experience in public life except the fact that he served as the personal physiotherapist of the Chief Minister. He is totally banking on the party strength and support from CM Jagan Reddy.

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2 from TDP file nomination for Tirupati bypoll

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Two candidates have filed their nominations for the Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Panabaka Lakshmi filed her nomination on Wednesday with two sets of documents. She was the first candidate to be declared as a contestant among the three contesting parties — TDP, YSRCP and BJP — for the forthcoming bypoll scheduled on April 17.

The returning officer mentioned that one Seelam Tirupaiah has also filed his nomination representing the TDP.

The by-election for the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved constituency is emerging to be one of the most watched and fiercely contested elections.

Meanwhile, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) in-charge for Chittoor district, Y.V. Subba Reddy, said on Wednesday that the party’s Tirupati bypoll candidate, M. Gurumoorthy, will file his nomination on Monday.

Gurumoorthy is a physiotherapist who rendered his services to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and walked along with him during the 3,600 km long padayatra.

The 36-year-old YSRCP candidate comes from a non-political Dalit family.

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‘Country will take note of YSCRP’s majority in Tirupati bypoll’

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Senior YSRCP leader and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy said on Wednesday that the whole country will take note of the ruling party’s majority after it wins the Lok Sabha bypoll in Tirupati, scheduled to be held on April 17.

“The whole country will take note and talk of YSRCP’s majority in the Tirupati by-election,” said Reddy.

He claimed that the people of the Parliamentary constituency are ready to give a thumping majority to the ruling party. Commenting on YSRCP’s Tirupati bypoll candidate M. Gurumoorthy, the TTD chairman said the party is putting people from the weaker sections and Dalit communities on a high pedestal to empower them, and selecting the 36-year-old physiotherapist is a part of this mission.

Recalling the recent rural and urban local body polls, Reddy said that people not only supported the YSRCP, but gave the opposition parties a run for their money.

“In similar fashion, the Tirupati bypoll will be a lesson for all the opposition parties,” he added.

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‘Yesu Babu’ slogan starts BJP Tirupati campaign

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The BJP AP unit’s official Twitter account created a political flutter. The party has launched an open war against the YCP and the TDP. It has begun its Tirupati campaign with a pungent comment terming Jagan Reddy as ‘Yesu Babu’ and Chandrababu Naidu as ‘Chanda Babu’. The BJP leaders are attacking that just as Naidu put his sticker on the Central schemes, Jagan Reddy is also now using his party sticker for the BJP central schemes.

The BJP’s long standing stand has been that the ruling party in AP was not giving due credit to the Modi rule’s welfare and development programmes. Modi’s programmes were being renamed and used to enhance the image of the State ruling party itself.

The BJP leaders claim that Jagan Reddy’s major programmes like ‘YSR Rythu Bharosa’, ‘YSR Arogyasri’, etc were all actually Central programmes. The Centre was also giving funds for the same.

YCP leaders are not objecting to the political criticism of the welfare programmes of Jagan Reddy. But, what has pained them the most was how aggressively the BJP was targetting the AP CM along religious lines. This is the first time that the BJP has directly described Jagan Reddy as ‘Yesu Babu’.

Greatly angered by this remark, the Jagan admirers are asking the Modi regime to first fulfill the Central promises like the Special Status instead of needlessly targetting the YCP.

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Ballot more powerful than bullet: Venkaiah Naidu

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu is presently on a visit to the temple town of Tirupati in AP. Delivering a speech at a meeting, he said that violence and destruction would appear to solve problems but it was never proven correct. Nobody would be able to bring change of any good sort by resorting to killings in the name of a public cause, he said.

Without directly referring to recent killing of TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao in Araku valley, the Vice President deplored that innocent tribals were suffering on account of this violence. He said that it would be through peaceful means and discussions, one could get any solution. “Violence won’t solve problems. Ballot is always more power than bullet”, said Mr. Venkaiah.

He also said that civil liberties were meant for peacefully living and law abiding civilians, and not for those who are resorting to killings and violence. He wondered as to why the vocal supporters of civil liberties were now keeping silent without making any statement to condemn the MLA’s killing.

The Vice President had darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy atop Tirumala Hills. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy also visited the temple during the day.

TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, JEO Srinivasa Raju and others accorded temple honours to the Vice President. Mr. Venkaiah Naidu was welcomed at the Mahadwaram and he received ‘aaseervachanam’ at the Ranganayakula Mandapam from vedic pandits.

Speaking after darshan, Mr. Venkaiah said that he came to seek blessings of the Lord on completion of one year in office as Vice President. He also prayed for progress and prosperity of Indian people. He instructed the TTD officials to make available all necessary facilities to ensure a heart warming darshan for devotees.

G. Ravikiran

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IndiGo to launch Tirupati-Hyderabad flights from next month

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Leading low-cost carrier, IndiGo on Friday announced that it is adding Tirupati on its network from January 7 with daily flights to Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Tirupati will be connected by three daily non-stop flights to Hyderabad and double daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru, the airline said in a statement.

Apart from this, Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect the temple town to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangaluru.

With over 950 daily flights connecting 47 destinations, these new flights will enable corporate and leisure travellers to experience IndiGo’s on-time performance and hassle-free service, it said.

IndiGo’s Chief Commercial Officer Sanjay Kumar said that they were looking at providing affordable fares on these flights.

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