TRS tames BJP; Prabhakar Reddy wins Munugode cliffhanger

The win in Munugode is only going to be a shot in the arm for the TRS and play catalyst to his grand ideas

TRS tames BJP; Prabhakar Reddy wins Munugode cliffhanger

MUNUGODE: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) accomplished the 'battle royale' of Munugode with an impressive victory in a keenly-fought Assembly by-election on Sunday. Its candidate Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy emerged the winner with an overall majority of 10,309 votes (including postal ballots) over his nearest rival Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy of the BJP. He polled a total of 97,006 while Rajgopal Reddy ended with 86,697 votes.

In fact, the victory came in with a sense of poetic justice for Prabhakar Reddy. He avenged his defeat in 2018 to Rajgopal Reddy, who then won on a Congress ticket.While it was a sweet revenge, personally for Prabhakar Reddy, the TRS demonstrated its capabilities to win the high-stakes by-election contest and score a few brownie points over the BJP, with just a few months left for the general elections in the state.

The by-election became prestigious for the TRS, also because of the grand national political ambitions of its supremo K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).

A few days before the Munugode election schedule was announced, KCR unveiled his plan to transform the TRS into Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to play a proactive role in national politics. The win in Munugode is only going to be a shot in the arm for the TRS and play catalyst to his grand ideas.

Prabhakar Reddy amassed a total of 97,006 votes and in the process relegated Rajgopal Reddy to the second position with 86,697 votes. Congress party candidate Palvai Shravanti ended up at a distant third with 23,906 votes. Ironically, she even lost her security deposit.

Despite it being a close race, Prabhakar Reddy managed to steadily build up his lead with every passing round before gaining an unassailable lead by the end of 11th round.

Though the result was initially expected to be evident by 1 pm, tardy pace of counting due to the inexperience of the staff during the fourth round has delayed the whole exercise. The by-election marked the culmination of a high-octane campaigning, largely centered around the TRS and the BJP. No-holds-barred social media blitzkrieks and controversies in the form of MLAs' poaching scandals increased the political heat for the Munugode by-election.

Elated TRS cadre descended on the Telangana Bhavan and celebrated the victory by distributing sweets and bursting firecrackers.

The BJP office in Hyderabad and in Munugode wore a deserted look following the shocking defeat in a narrow fight. Losing candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, while conceding defeat, claimed a moral victory. He accused the TRS dispensation of using money power besides threatening the Munugode electorate of withdrawing the welfare benefits if they did not vote for the TRS candidate.

Reacting on the victory, TRS Working President K T Rama Rao said that the Munugode election was a fight between development and arrogance. In a veiled attack on Rajgopal Reddy, who caused the by-election by resigning from the Congress and his MLA position, KTR said that there would be no murders but only suicides in politics. He thanked the Left parties for their contribution in the victory of the TRS candidate.

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