A day before the polling in Telangana’s Munugode assembly seat, a high-voltage late-night drama was seen in Munugode when the BJP candidate Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy and party cadres staged protests at the RO office demanding immediate action on the TRS leaders who came from outside to Munugode for campaigning. The BJP leader questioned why the police and EC officials were allowing TRS leaders who are not the voters of Munugode to stay back, claiming that they are influencing voters and violating the model code of conduct.
In addition to this, the BJP Telangana president Bandi Sanjay who was on the way to Munugode to support Reddy as the TRS leaders were not leaving the Munugode constituency, was stopped twice. The saffron party leader staged a protest on the national highway, following which he was shifted to the police station in Vijayawada. According to the BJP leader Krishna Sagar Rao, Bandi Sanjay was arrested by the police earlier this morning.
Speaking to Republic, Krishna Sagar Rao said, “TRS party is doing everything it can using and abusing the governance capabilities and enforcement agencies to ensure their win… TRS party is using the police as an instrument. Today the president of our party (Bandi Sanjay) has been arrested in the morning when he was not even in the election area. BJP condemns this kind of high-handedness of the police and the open brazen abuse of power by the TRS party to win.”
Over 2.41 lakh voters would give their verdict in the bypoll to the Munugode assembly constituency in Telangana today (November 3), an election that is expected to influence the future course of state politics in the run-up to next year’s legislative assembly polls.
As many as 47 candidates are in the fray, official sources said. The three big faces of the main political parties who will be contending this election are – BJP’s Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy, TRS leader Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy and Congress’ Palvai Sravanthi Reddy.
The TRS, recently renamed as Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), aims to demonstrate its dominance in state politics and go national with a big win from Munugode. The message the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led party would like to send at the national level is that it can take on the BJP and win.
Meanwhile, according to the BJP leaders, victory for the party in Munugode will give an edge to them in the upcoming assembly elections in 2023 over BRS. BJP national President JP Nadda stated that a win in this by-poll could herald a further southern push for the saffron party and defeat could deter expansionary plans.
On the other hand, it’s a do-or-die situation for Congress as the grand old party has not witnessed any victory since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party suffered a major setback after Komatireddy Rajagopala Reddy switched to BJP. Notably, Congress has no existence in northern Telangana while defeat in Munugode will repeat the same in southern Telangana.