Munugode Congress MLA Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy. (DC File Photo)
MUNUGODE: The Munugode electorate, by and large, believes that if there is a byelection, it would be a fight between MLA Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), with the former having an edge as of now.
Even hardcore Congress workers, who refused to sail with Rajgopal Reddy in the event of his switching over to the BJP, seem to have resigned to the bitter reality that the Congress is being relegated to the third position.
The TRS has been facing anti-incumbency for various reasons including delay in pensions, steep hike in prices of essential commodities, unemployment and flip flops over the paddy procurement besides the general boredom. But, the electorate is confident that the TRS candidate, whoever it is, will have the support of traditional voters and the Left parties, which represented the segment earlier.
"We have seen how entire government machinery and loads of money were kept at the disposal of the TRS candidate in Huzurabad," pointed out Lakshminarayana, a local shopkeeper.
People with whom Deccan Chronicle interacted seem to have understood Rajgopal Reddy’s limitation in developing the constituency as an Opposition MLA. "He got the streetlights fixed with his own fund," said a coconut vendor at Munugode Crossroads and a bystander added, "He extends financial aid in the event of marriages, accidents or funerals."
In a repeat of Huzurabad, it will be Rajgopal Reddy who will make an impact on his own rather than as being a BJP candidate. However, the party, unlike in Huzurabad, had minimal base in the constituency with its candidates securing 27,000 and 12,000 votes in previous polls.
"Rajgopal’s entry will give a huge fillip to the BJP," said Pradeep, a hotel worker who migrated from Karnataka and a staunch "bhakt" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajgopal Reddy’s entry could become the gateway for BJP’s journey into the combined Nalgonda district.
The worst-hit would be the local Congress leaders who see a bleak future for the party in what was its stronghold. "We made repeated requests to Rajgopal Reddy not to resign and made it clear that we would not accompany him to BJP," said a party leader having a position in Chandur mandal. The leaders also feel that party stalwart and former MLA Palvai Govardhan Reddy’s daughter could not have her way in constituency politics till now due to the presence of Rajgopal Reddy.
The TRS is bogged down with internal feuds with two more leaders — Karnati Vidyasagar, a confidant of minister K.T. Rama Rao, and Ravi Mudiraj, a rich businessman from Munugode —pitching for party ticket along with former MLA Prabhakar Reddy.
In terms of development, the area is well connected with roads most of which are in good condition. Farmers have been getting Rythu Bandhu and were appreciative of adequate power supply to the farm sector. Construction of burial grounds for performing last rites in a dignified manner has also been appreciated by the villagers.