All set for Munugode D-Day; by-election winner likely by noon

With hours left for D-Day, all arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of counting the votes on Sunday for the Munugode

Munugode Results

MUNUGODE: With hours left for the D-Day, all arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of counting the votes on November 6 (Sunday) for the Munugode Assembly constituency, where polling for a by-election was held on November 3. Mixed moods prevail among the three major political parties – the TRS, the BJP and the Congress – even as the election officials are gearing up to commence the counting at 8 am tomorrow.

Given the size of the electorate, the counting exercise is largely expected to be completed by 1 pm when the result could possibly be declared. Clear trends on who is steaming ahead with an unassailable lead are also anticipated well before noon, unless there is a tight contest.

Counting of votes will be held at the make-shift centre in Arjala Bavi Godowns where the EVMs have been preserved amid tight security. Votes will be counted in 15 rounds over 21 tables set up for this purpose. Traditionally, the exercise will begin with the counting of the postal ballots on the Returning Officer's table before the sealed EVMs are opened.

The Munugode electorate cast their votes in 298 polling centres with one EVM used for every centre. As per information available, the EVM of Choutuppal mandal will be taken up first for vote-counting, followed by the EVMs of Samsthan Narayanpur, Munugode, Marriguda, Nampally and Gattupal mandals. Vote counting on EVMS will be live-recorded with the help of CCTV cameras set up for this purpose.

District election office, District Collector Vinay Krishna Reddy, Returning Officer Rohit Singh besides the three Central election observers will oversee the entire counting process.

Meanwhile, more than the electorate, the followers of the three main political parties, which carried out high-voltage campaigning, are waiting with bated breath for the decisive moment to arrive. While the ruling TRS is upbeat about winning the seat, buoyed by a flurry of surveys projecting a favourable result, contrasting moods are being felt among the BJP and the Congress.

Eerie silence, coupled with a sense of despondency, is prevailing in the BJP camp due to the distressing signals emerging from various surveys. BJP candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, who caused the by-election by switching his loyalties from the Congress to the saffron party, appears to have already thrown in the towel. He is scheduled to leave for Australia, half an hour past Sunday midnight, giving ample indications on how he is looking at his chances.

The Congress too is in a state of disarray and its only point of curiosity appears to be in nudging the BJP to the third spot and end up as a respectable loser in second position.

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