NALGONDA: The last day of campaigning in the highly awaited Munugode bypoll had its fair share of controversy as at least 10 persons belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were injured during a clash in Palivela village of Munugode mandal on Tuesday. Some policemen also sustained injuries in the incident.
Sources said TRS activists, who were going for pink party working president KT Rama Rao’s roadshow, clashed with BJP workers who were to attend Huzurabad MLA Eatala Rajender’s meeting in Palivela. Activists of both parties shouted slogans, resulting in a heated atmosphere, but it exacerbated into a full-blown clash when activists of one party started pelting stones and the other party retaliated with sticks and stones.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) took serious cognisance of the matter and rushed two additional companies of central security forces to the village to prevent another such event from occurring.BJP’s campaign chariot and cars which were part of Rajender’s convoy were vandalised.
Though this is the fifth bypoll after the 2018 Assembly elections, Munugode is said to be the costliest election ever in the history of Telangana and even undivided Andhra Pradesh.The Huzurabad bypoll, which was necessitated due to the resignation of former minister Eatala Rajender, was considered the costliest up until now. Unconfirmed reports suggest Rs 1,000 crore might have been spent on the bypoll.
Expectedly, leaders of all the major three parties appear confident of victory. “It has been proved with the good response to CM’s public meeting in Munugode that people will express their gratitude to the leaders who helped them. We are confident of winning the bypoll,” Finance Minister T Harish Rao averred.
It may be recalled here that of the 2.40 lakh voters, 1.01 lakh farmers were beneficiaries of Rythu Bandhu, an investment support scheme of Rs 10,000 per year. Over 40,000 constituents also avail the benefits of Aasara, the social security pension scheme, in the Munugode segment. The TRS is pinning its hopes on these beneficiaries.
However, the BJP believes that TRS’ defeat is certain. “It is like the battle of Kurukshetra. Dharma is with the BJP. We will win with a thumping majority,” BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar asserted.
Congress is depending on the ‘sentiment’ factor. Palvai Sravanthi Reddy, daughter of former MLA late Palvai Govardhan Reddy, used the ‘father sentiment’.
As no woman has ever been elected from the segment so far, the Congress is also playing the card of ‘women sentiment’ and organised an exclusive rally of women on the last day. “I have no businesses. I am here to fulfil the aspirations of my father,” Sravanthi Reddy told the voters.“If a woman sheds tears, it is not good for the kingdom. Bless your daughter,” said Revanth Reddy, as he tried to strike a chord with the women voters.