Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 5 Facts About Kothapalli Geetha, BJP Candidate From Araku

The BJP has fielded former YSRCP leader Kothapalli Geetha from the Araku seat for the Lok Sabha elections. Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, Araku is the only one reserved for Scheduled Tribes. She won the seat in 2014 representing Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party YSRCP.

Here are five facts about Kothapalli Geetha:

1) Born on February 4, 1971, in Thimmapuram village of Andhra Pradesh, Kothapalli Geetha is a seasoned politician. She completed her BA in 1989 and a Bachelor of Education degree in 1990 from Andhra University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Sociology. Ms Geetha belongs to the Valmiki tribe.

2) A former Deputy Collector, she resigned in 2010 and entered politics. In 2014, she won the Araku seat for Jagan Reddy’s YSRCP. She left YSRCP and founded the Jana Jagruthi Party in 2018.

3) In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Jana Jagruthi Party contested a few assembly and Lok Sabha seats but failed to register even a single victory. Ms Geetha, who contested from the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat, received a meagre 1158 votes.

4) In 2019, Kothapalli Geetha joined the BJP. Three years later, a CBI Special Court convicted Ms Geetha and her husband in a bank fraud case and sentenced them to five years in jail. Earlier this month, the Telangana High Court suspended her conviction, clearing the path for her contesting in the elections.

5) In January 2024, the Andhra Pradesh government said that Ms Geetha does not belong to the Scheduled Tribe. The controversy first surfaced after her election to the Lok Sabha in 2014. The then collector of East Godavari had issued a certificate that she belonged to the Valmiki tribe. E Anjaneyulu, the president of the Andhra Pradesh SC, ST Employees, appealed to the government to challenge the collector’s order. In January 2024, the Andhra Pradesh High Court stayed the government order cancelling the caste certificate that recognised her as a person from a Scheduled Tribe.

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