TRS wins Munugode by-poll: How welfare schemes, KCR's charisma helped TRS defeat BJP

By Coreena Suares  Published on  6 Nov 2022 1:15 PM GMT
TRS wins Munugode by-poll: How welfare schemes, KCRs charisma helped TRS defeat BJP

Ahead of the next year's assembly poll, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) received a shot in the arm when it defeated the BJP in the Munugode by-poll on Sunday. TRS' Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy defeated BJP candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy by a good margin of 10,309 votes.

TRS- Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy who secured 97006 Votes was declared the winner, while BJP contender - Komatireddy RajGopal Reddy with 86,697 votes stood second. Interesting Congress party that won elections in 2018, failed to get its deposits, Congress candidate P Sravanthi secured 23,906 votes. Despite Congress' `Bharat Jodo Yatra', its candidate could not save her deposit. New entrant Bahujan Samaj Party made its presence felt. (The final figures are including the postal ballot votes and that of online voting)

The counting began at 8 AM on Sunday. In the first half an hour, the postal ballots were counted. Later EVMs were brought in for counting. From the beginning, TRS was leading with a thin margin. Every round was making the parties and candidates restive as the seesaw battle was on. However, as the counting of rounds progressed, TRS' margin increased. The breakthrough came in the 5th and 6th rounds when the TRS took a lead of 2000 votes. By the end of the 12th round, it was leading with 7000 plus ballots.

It is KCR's win

Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy's win marks his second innings as TRS MLA. He first won the seat in the 2014 assembly election. However, in both his elections, he harped on KCR's charisma.

The victory will reinforce the KCR's image of being the invincible leader in the state. TRS' flagship schemes Rythu Bandhu, Dalit Bandhu, senior citizen pensions, Kalyan Lakshmi, and KCR Kits played a key role in wooing the voters.

Timely Support of the Communist Party also helped the ruling party. TRS' pitch that BJP nominee Rajgopal Reddy is a turncoat who shifted loyalties from Congress to BJP because the central government allocated him a civil contract of Rs 18,000 Crore, seems to have struck a chord with voters.

It is pertinent to mention that the people of Munugode (rural belt) expressed satisfaction with Mission Bbhagirata. The scheme provided drinking water to people who were otherwise suffering from deadly fluorosis by consuming groundwater in the Nalgonda district.

TRS' election engineering was at its best this time around. The pink party launched an election juggernaut much ahead of the poll schedule. From Ministers to MPs and from MLAs and to small-time functionaries were deployed to stop the BJP in the tracks.

Needless to say, the Munugode by-poll is no different and was infested with `mandhu', `mukka', and `katta' (liquor, meat, and money). Kusukuntla banked on Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's charisma and welfare schemes.

Rajgopal Reddy put up a good fight

It was a battle between Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy and TRS and not BJP versus TRS. In the end, TRS took away the cake. Congress Leader turned BJP contender Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy's loss has brought the BJP to the number two position in the constituency.

His loss will strip him of the tag of an elected representative for the first time since 2008. It is pertinent to note that Rajgopal Reddy was elected as an MP in 2008, MLC in 2014, and as MLA in 2018.

Whatever votes Rajgopal secured were because of his own reputation, charisma, and generosity. A few voters are of the opinion that youngsters supported Rajgopal. However, it did not translate into votes.

Congress lost its deposit

It is pertinent to note that the Munugude constituency had been a Congress bastion since 1967 with a few years of CPI rule. Between 1967 and 1985, the late Palvai Govardhan Reddy -won consecutive elections. Ujini Narayan Rao of the CPI won the election for the next three straight terms before Govardhan Reddy staged a comeback. Congress candidate Palvai Sravanthi is the daughter of Govardhan Reddy.

The Congress candidate Palvai Sravanthi -daughter of Govardhan Reddy failed to get the party its deposits. "Except for sympathy votes, Sravanthi usually seen as 'Andhra Kodallu' (as her spouse belongs to the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh) failed to keep afloat the Congress party in Munugode. Young congress supporters found no use in supporting Sravanthi. Also she is never seen in the constituency, nor she is accessible to the public. Even in the election campaign, Congress had fallen flat, said an election observer.

Munugode constituency comprises seven mandals, five of which fall in the Nalgonda district and two in Yadadri. The constituency has a population of over 2.90 lakh. People from backward castes including Padmashali, Gouds, Yadhav, Mudiraj, and Chakali have a huge presence in the constituency. Farmers and weavers too are in good numbers.

Choutuppal, Narayanapur, Munugode, Chandur, Marriguda, Nampalle, and the newly carved Gattuppal, have two lakh voters. It is pertinent to note that, 50-60 percent of the voters fall in the age group of 18-19 years and 20-30 years, respectively.

Table:

2018 General Elections: Results

Congress - Komatireddy RajGopal Reddy - 97,239 Votes (winner)

TRS - Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy - 74,687

BJP- Gangidi Manohar Reddy - 12,725

2022 Bye-elections : Results

TRS- Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy - 97,006 Votes (winner)

BJP - Komatireddy RajGopal Reddy - 86,697

Congress- P Sravanthi - 23,906

BSP: 4,146



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