Hyderabad: A record 93.13 per cent polling was recorded in Thursday’s by-election to Munugode Assembly seat in Telangana.
The final polling figure was available on Friday morning as voting in some polling stations continued till 10.30 p.m., poll officials said.
Out of a total 2,41,805 voters, 2,25,192 exercised their franchise. Officials said 686 postal ballots were not included in the votes polled.
The strong room was sealed at 4.40 a.m. as the last Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) reached there at 1.30 a.m.
The constituency in Nalgonda district witnessed massive turnout during the final hours. Though the polling time ended at 6 p.m., those standing in queues were allowed to vote. The process continued till 10.30 p.m. in a few booths.
The turnout exceeded the figure of 2018 polls when 91.31 per cent of voters had cast their votes.
This time, there were a total of 47 candidates in the fray but the main contest was among
three major players – TRS, BJP and Congress.
The bypoll was necessitated after sitting MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy resigned from the Congress to join the BJP in August. This time Reddy contested on the BJP ticket.
The TRS fielded former MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy, who had lost to Rajagopal Reddy in 2018.
The Congress fielded Palvai Sravanthi Reddy, daughter of former MP Palvai Goverdhan Reddy.
The counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.
Following the heavy turnout, all three major contestants exuded confidence in a victory. TRS leaders told party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao that the polling trend shows that the party will win the bypoll.
After analysing the polling trend, finance and health minister T. Harish Rao claimed that TRS will win the by-election by a margin of over 20,000 votes.
TRS working president K. T. Rama Rao thanked all party leaders and workers who worked hard for the last one month. He also thanked social media warriors of the party who played a key role in educating people about the welfare and development schemes of the TRS government.
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay also exuded confidence that his party will win the bypoll. He alleged that the TRS spent Rs1,000 crore to win the by-election but the BJP will emerge victorious as voters wholeheartedly supported the party.
Leaders of the Congress party were equally confident of a win in Munugode. Party’s working president Ponnam Prabhakar said both TRS and BJP used money and liquor to buy votes.
In 2018, Rajagopal Reddy had won Munugode seat on Congress ticket, defeating his nearest rival K. Prabhakar Reddy of TRS by 23,552 votes.
Prabhakar Reddy was elected in 2014. This was the first victory of TRS in the constituency which was traditionally dominated by Congress and Communist Party of India (CPI).
This time both CPI and CPI-M backed the TRS.