Parties jostle to secure limelight in Munugode
DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent
HYDERABAD: Munugode is witnessing something close to trench warfare as the three major political parties — the TRS, BJP, and Congress — chase people for votes in the November 3 by-election to the Assembly constituency.
Jostling for space in the seven mandals of the constituency, and the lone municipality of Choutuppal, are not fewer than 178 senior and middle-level leaders of the three parties, with each intent on reaching out to every single voter falling under the jurisdiction of each of the 290-odd polling stations in the constituency. For now, leaders of the three parties have stayed out of one another’s way, but it is still early days in the campaign and their paths are expected to cross at some point before the campaign comes to a close. The ruling TRS, with 86 of its MLAs and MLCs, including ministers, has the highest saturation of party leaders, a hitherto unseen phenomenon even by TRS standards.
The list of TRS leaders — on whose shoulders TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has placed the responsibility of the victory for the party — alone runs 15 pages.
Earlier, Chandrashekar Rao had reportedly said that he will take charge of Lenkalpally village in Marriguda mandal. On paper, however, the responsibility has fallen on to party MLC T. Ravinder Rao.
Incidentally, the TRS has saturated the constituency — where the battle is between Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy of the BJP, Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of the TRS, and Palvai Sravanthi of the Congress — with its leaders, and resources, has the additional advantage, at least a psychological one, of having Munugode surrounded by constituencies represented by its legislators.
The Congress, currently seen as the underdog in the contest, and smarting over the desertion of Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy from its fold to join the BJP, has sent in 68 of its leaders. Interestingly, the BJP, claiming to be the primary contender for the Munugode seat, has officially sent in a mere 24 of its leaders as in-charges of each of the seven mandals, and the Choutuppal municipality.
In addition to these leaders are unlisted booth committee in-charges of the three different parties, who, in large numbers, are to ensure that each voter gets connected with a leader or leaders deployed to campaign in their mandal or village, in addition to senior leaders who undertake campaigning during the day.
The job of each of the incharge, co-incharge and assistant is to ensure that the voters they reach out to will vote for their party. And their job, according to leaders from all three parties, has been complicated by the fact that all of them, irrespective of party affiliation, are after the same set of people who may have been contacted by their rivals, or would be once they have left.