Koosukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of the TRS has been elected by a majority of 10,309 over his nearest rival Rajagopal Reddy, who recently switched loyalties to the BJP necessitating the by-election.
Out of 2,41,805 valid votes polled, the TRS secured 96,598 votes while BJP got 86,697 votes. Palvai Sravanthi of Congress finished a distant third with 23,906 votes.
In 2018, Rajagopal Reddy had won Munugode seat on Congress ticket, defeating his nearest rival Prabhakar Reddy of TRS by 23,552 votes.
Rajagopal Reddy had polled 99,239 votes while Prabhakar Reddy secured 61,687 votes. G. Manohar Reddy of the BJP was a poor third with 12,725 votes.
The vote share of TRS has gone up from 38.1 per cent in 2018 to 42.95 per cent. In the previous election, the BJP had secured a mere 6.5 per cent but this has jumped to 38.4 per cent, mainly riding on the popularity of Rajagopal Reddy.
The Congress party was the biggest loser. Its vote percentage dropped by 39 — from 49.6 per cent in 2018 to 10.58 per cent in the by-election.
Political analysts say a section of traditional voters remained with the Congress party which dented the chances of Rajagopal Reddy.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also garnered a good number of votes (4,146), further marring the prospects of Rajagopal Reddy.
Out of 298 polling stations in the constituency, the TRS secured lead in 182. The BJP candidate was ahead in 110 while Congress got the lead in 6.
The ruling party also secured lead in all seven ‘mandals’ (blocks). The BJP was expecting a majority in Choutuppal mandal, an urban area on the periphery of Hyderabad. Rajagopal Reddy admitted that he did not get the expected support in this mandal. The Congress party also polled maximum number of votes in this mandal.
The TRS leaders believe that their party could have won with a higher margin if the Election Commission of India had accepted their request not to allot poll symbols which look similar to ‘car’ (TRS symbol).
The ruling party’s fears came true as independents and candidates of smaller parties with symbols similar to ‘car’ polled over 5,000 votes. ‘Rotimaker’ the symbol given to M. Srisailam Yadav of Samaikyandhra Pariraskshana Samithi got 2,407 votes, while ‘road roller’ of Yuga Thulasi Party secured 1,880 votes.