By-election self-goal: Nakrekal voter Rajgopal Reddy fakes voting in Munugode

BJP Munugode candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy scored a self-goal on the polling day when he 'faked' to have exercised his vote for the Assembly by-election

Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy

MUNUGODE: BJP Munugode candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy scored a self-goal on the polling day on Thursday when he 'faked' to have exercised his vote for the Assembly by-election. In a goof-up of sorts, a video surfaced showing the beleaguered leader entering a polling booth in Munugode. But a tweet Rajgopal Reddy posted on his Twitter handle blew the lid on the fake voting fiasco, providing enough ammunition to his opponents and the netizens to mock him.

After performing puja at a Shiva temple in Munugode, Rajgopal Reddy went inside a polling booth in Munugode. A video of his presence inside the polling booth showed him interacting with the polling officials before going near the EVM enclosure. Though it was not evident what he was doing there, he was clearly seen in the video spending a few moments before moving away from the EVM enclosure.

But what took it to a new low was Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy's tweet in which he claimed that he had cast his vote in Munugode for the Assembly by-election. This sparked a wave of backlash from his political opponents and netizens who questioned how he could exercise his franchise when he was a registered voter in Nakrekal mandal. Soon, his election affidavit, in which he stated this fact, surfaced causing more embarrassment to him and the BJP.

Realising the adverse impact his 'foot-in-mouth' move has caused, Rajgopal Reddy subsequently deleted his tweet. But the damage was already done by then. Netizens had a field day, calling out the Congress deserter for allegedly resorting to cheap tactics, even on the polling day. Initially, the debate was only centered around on how Rajgopal Reddy could cast his vote in Munugode while he had clearly stated in his election affidavit that he was a registered voter elsewhere.

But the video of Rajgopal Reddy spending time inside the Munugode polling booth left nothing for imagination. Netizens were quick to point out that the BJP candidate was only faking to have cast his vote in Munugode. His tweet, which he hastily deleted, only made matters worse for him. In the tweet, Rajgopal Reddy claimed that he had availed his right to vote in Munugode.

Ironically, the vote faking fiasco comes close on the heels of falsified campaigns carried out till Thursday by elements allegedly linked to the saffron party. Fake news was circulated, claiming that Congress nominee Palvai Shravati had met KCR in an attempt to move closer to the TRS. A similar campaign was also unleashed to give the impression that TRS leader Karne Prabhakar had joined the BJP.

Taking off on this, the netizens commented that Rajgopal Reddy finally decided to fake his own vote in Munugode, as he and his party were left with no more weapons in their arsenal to carry out smear campaigns against their rivals.

The only question that many of the trollers failed to find answers for is, what drove Rajgopal Reddy to stoop so low to fake his voting in Munugode and for what benefit. For now, it remains in the realm of conjecture as the under-fire BJP candidate not only deleted his tweet but seemingly retreated into his cocoon to avoid further media glare.

Meanwhile, his elder brother Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, who went holidaying in Australia at the height of the Congress party's campaign in Munugode, has returned to Hyderabad. His return to the country on the eve of the by-election polling has sparked rumours that he would be going allout to muster support for his brother, at the expense of his party's candidate Shravanti.

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