High-stakes Munugode by-poll ends, 93% voter turnout recorded

In the run-up to the by-poll, several videos were circulating online showing citizens expressing their disinterest in voting as they were not being paid for it. Some videos accused political parties of paying voters to vote for them.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  3 Nov 2022 2:41 PM GMT
High-stakes Munugode by-poll ends, 93% voter turnout recorded

Hyderabad: The Munugode by-poll concluded on Thursday at 6 p.m. The total voter turnout was 93%. Earlier, the Telangana chief electoral officer had said he expected a 90% turnout.

The results are scheduled to be announced on 6 November.

In the run-up to the by-poll, several videos were circulating online showing citizens expressing their disinterest in voting as they were not being paid for it. Some videos accused political parties of paying voters to vote for them.

Telangana state election officer Vikas Raj said nearly 38 calls were made to the police with complaints pertaining to non-voters (outsiders) who were still in Munugode on the polling day. He said nearly 42 such people were identified and sent out of the constituency during the first half of Thursday. Earlier, Mr. Raj had asked all unauthorised people other than registered voters in Munugode to leave by Tuesday 6 p.m.

Additionally, 28 cases were reported to the Revenue team. "Upon checking, they found cash in two places. In total, Rs. 2,99,000 has been seized," Mr. Raj said.

He further added, "After mock polls began, there were some issues with a few VVPAT machines and control units in the Munugode constituency. However, the issues were fixed. This caused polling to temporarily stop at some places." But they continued smoothly, he added.

Strict vigilance

Around 45 police teams and 37 revenue teams were deployed to reduce the number of outsiders in the constituency. The teams visited villages to keep an eye on any cash distribution or other inducements being offered to the voters.

An Income Tax team of seven members had been deployed to monitor the expenditure-related activities of the candidates and political parties. Around 3,366 state police personnel and 15 companies of the Central armed police force were deployed in Munugode. In addition, 100 checkpoints were set up throughout the constituency to monitor the movement of men and materials from other locations. Also, 1,492 officials were posted at polling stations. Webcasting was also arranged.

Why the by-poll?

The by-election was necessitated by the resignation of MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy on 8 August. He quit the Congress party and joined the BJP. He is also the BJP candidate for the by-elections.

Munugode is part of the Bhongir Lok Sabha parliamentary constituency in the Nalgonda district. The constituency has 2,41,855 voters, including 1,21,720 males, 1,20,128 females, and seven transgender persons.

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