Munugode bypoll:Stakes high for three major T’gana parties
Rajagopal Reddy, who defected from the Congress to the BJP on August 21, is the obvious choice of the saffron party for the bypoll to Munugode, while the Congress has named Palwai Sravanthi, daughter of former minister late Palwai Goverdhan Reddy, as its candidate on September 9
Political atmosphere in Telangana has once again heated up with the announcement of the schedule for the by-election to Munugode assembly seat in Nalgonda district, which will be held on November 3.
The by-election, necessitated by the resignation of former Congress MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy on August 8, has become a matter of prestige to all the three major political parties – the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
Rajagopal Reddy, who defected from the Congress to the BJP on August 21, is the obvious choice of the saffron party for the bypoll to Munugode, while the Congress has named Palwai Sravanthi, daughter of former minister late Palwai Goverdhan Reddy, as its candidate on September 9.
Both Rajagopal Reddy and Sravanthi have already swung into action to campaign for themselves. They have been going door-to-door, meeting people, and holding meeting of the party workers for the last few weeks.
The TRS, however, has not announced its candidate yet , as party president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is busy making preparations for the launch of a national party at his camp office Pragati Bhavan on Wednesday, coinciding with Dasara festival.
“KCR has zeroed in on former MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy as the party candidate for Munugode. An official announcement may be made at the party state executive meeting to be held at Pragati Bhavan on Wednesday,” a senior TRS leader said on condition of anonymity.
However, the sudden announcement of the by-election schedule by the EC has landed the TRS leadership in a tricky situation. According to the party leader, while launching the national party, KCR will announce the disbanding of the TRS and merging it with the new party, which is expected to be named as Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
“In all probability, the resolution to be adopted by the party state executive on Wednesday will be communicated to the Election Commission of India on Thursday itself. If the ECI accepts the resolution and issues a notification to that effect, the TRS will cease to exist and KCR will have to field the candidate in the Munugode by-election on behalf of the BRS, or any other name he gives it to the new party,” the party leader said.
The nomination process for the by-election will begin on Thursday and the last date for filing of nominations is October 14. “If the ECI doesn’t take a decision on recognising the new party floated by KCR, then the TRS candidate will remain in fray,” he said.
In case the ECI recognises the new party by accepting the merger of the TRS with it, the party leaders are apprehensive that there may be an issue of election symbol, as there is no guarantee that the commission will allot the same car symbol to the new party.
“But KCR has gone into all these issues and consulted the EC authorities and legal experts before announcing the date of the launch of the new party. In all probability, the new party will retain the car symbol,” the TRS leader said.
Because of this confidence the chief minister sent a message to all the party leaders that the general body meeting of the party would be held as per the schedule at 11 am on Wednesday and there was no plan to postpone it in the wake of the announcement of schedule for by-poll to Munugode.
All the TRS leaders, MLAs and MPs and others were specifically instructed not to have any apprehensions over the conduct of the meeting in the wake of the EC notification, an official communication from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress Committee went into a huddle at Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday to work out the campaign strategy for Munugode. “We shall go all out to retain the Munugode seat and teach a fitting lesson to the defector and the TRS,” PCC campaign committee chairman Madhu Yashki said.
Soon after the announcement of the by-poll schedule, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay dropped his plan to take out fifth phase of padayatra from October 15. The party has decided to intensify the campaign by inviting top national leaders to Munugode to address a few public meetings.