Image: Republic World
The face-off between TRS and BJP intensified on November 3 over the Munugode bypolls after the supporters of the saffron party caught a person near a polling station with cash and tags belonging to TRS. Along with the cash and TRS party tags, a voters list was also recovered from him. Following this, the BJP supporters alleged that the person caught was trying to influence the voters to cast their votes in favour of K Chandrashekar’s party by bribing them.
Notably, the controversy errupted at around 3 pm on Thursday after nearly 59% of the voting was done in the constituency. Following the allegations, the man was handed over to the police by BJP supporters.
#BREAKING | Munugode bypolls: 'Cash for votes' controversy erupts, cash stash recovered on polling day. Watch here - https://t.co/GAtGCw2GdU pic.twitter.com/EMGoIvegJp— Republic (@republic) November 3, 2022
Earlier on November 2, BJP and the TRS accused each other of violating the model code of conduct ahead of the elections. Accusing the TRS of violating the code of conduct, the BJP claimed that the KCR-led party leaders were distributing money to voters. Following the BJP’s claims, TRS countered saying that BJP candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy was “enacting drama” to garner last-minute sympathy by staging protests at the election returning officer’s office in Chandur village.
The bypolls to the Munugode Assembly constituency were necessitated after former Congress' senior leader Komatireddy Rajagopala Reddy tendered his resignation from his post and the party. He later joined BJP in August 2022, making his constituency go for re-election. Notably, the ruling TRS alleged that the MLA had defected to the saffron party after he was awarded an Rs 18,000 crore coal contract.
The Munugode bypolls battle is being considered crucial for the BJP and the TRS as the result of this by-election can determine the political future of Telangana. Notably, the outcome of the Munugode bypolls will have a strong impact on the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, which are scheduled to be held before December 2023. Munugode is one of the 12 constituencies in Telangana’s Nalgonda district.
The importance of this by-election for the TRS party can be noted with the fact itself that Chief Minister KCR has been campaigning himself in the constituency. Meanwhile, if BJP emerges as a winner in Munugode, it will provide an edge to the saffron party in the upcoming 2023 Telangana Assembly elections, crushing the national ambitions of the TRS chief.