Vote counting has begun in Telangana's Munugode
Vote counting has begun in Telangana's Munugode

HYDERABAD: The stage is all set for the counting of ballots cast in the Telangana by-election for the Munugode Assembly seat on Sunday.  The Nalgonda district's Arjalabavi will host an elaborate vote-counting ceremony thanks to the election authorities. The procedure will start at 8 a.m. and should be finished by 3 p.m.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, everything was set up for the counting. 21 tables have been set up for the proceedings by the officials. There will be fifteen counts. In each round, the votes cast at the 21 polling places will be tallied.  The officials will count postal ballots before turning on the electronic voting machines (EVMs). 686 postal ballots in total were received.

In the hotly contested byelection on Thursday, 93.13 percent of eligible voters participated. This was higher than the polling of 91.31 percent that was observed in the constituency in 2018.

2,25,192 voters out of a total of 2,41,805 voters cast ballots. The postal ballots are not included in this. The final turnout count was made public on Friday morning because voting lasted until 10:30 p.m. in several polling places. The final EVM arrived in the strong room around 1.30 a.m., thus it was sealed at 4.40 a.m.

The election officials have made the required preparations to accommodate all counting agents at the counting centre because there are 47 candidates running for office. There are enough security measures in place. Micro observers will also be present, and the entire procedure will be video graphed.

During the last few hours, a significant number of voters turned out in the Nalgonda district constituency. Though the polling time ended at 6 p.m., those standing in queues were permitted to vote. In a few booths, the process proceeded until 10.30 p.m. Despite the fact that 47 candidates were running, the TRS, BJP, and Congress were the three primary contenders.

After sitting MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy left the Congress in August to join the BJP, a byelection was required. Reddy ran for office this time on the BJP ticket.

Former MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy, who had fallen short of Rajagopal Reddy in 2018, was put forward by the TRS. Palvai Sravanthi Reddy, the daughter of former MP Palvai Goverdhan Reddy, was run for office by the Congress party. Vote tallying will be discussed on November 6.

All three of the main contenders oozed triumph confidence after the large turnout. TRS leaders informed K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the party's president and chief minister, that the polling pattern indicates their party will win the byelection.

T. Harish Rao, the minister of finance and health, predicted that TRS would win the by-election by a margin of more than 20,000 votes after analysing the polling trend. Rajagopal Reddy defeated K. Prabhakar Reddy of the TRS by 23,552 votes to win the Munugode seat in 2018 on the Congress ticket.

In 2014, Prabhakar Reddy was elected. The Congress and the Communist Party of India had previously held sway in this constituency, making this the TRS's first victory there (CPI). This time, the TRS was supported by the CPI and CPI-M.

Allegations of voter distribution of money, alcohol, and even gold during the byelection caused controversy. Cash, alcohol, and gold worth about Rs. 8.27 crore were recovered by the authorities.

Telangana's Munugode assembly Polling underway

Telengana: BJP, TRS workers clash ahead of bypoll

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