BJP candidate in Munugode by-poll dares KCR to contest

Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, the BJP’s candidate in Telangana’s Munugode Assembly constituency, on Monday filed his nomination and dared Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his son K.T. Rama Rao to contest against him.

Rajagopal Reddy reached the office of returning officer in Chandur in a huge rally of his supporters and submitted his nomination papers.

Hundreds of BJP workers holding party flags participated in the huge rally. The saffron party turned the occasion into a massive show of strength.

Rajagopal Reddy was accompanied by BJP general secretary incharge of party affairs in Telangana Tarun Chug, Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, party MLAs Eatala Rajender, Raghunandan Rao and others.

Addressing the rally after filing nomination, Rajagopal Reddy changed KCR or KTR, as the two are popularly known, to contest the by-election against him.

He alleged that the chief minister looted the wealth of Telangana people and said BJP would send him to jail.

The by-election is scheduled to be held on November 3. The vacancy arose after sitting MLA Rajagopal Reddy resigned from the Assembly and also Congress party to join BJP.

He joined the BJP at a public meeting in Munugode on August 21, which was addressed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The constituency is set to see a three-cornered contest among ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and opposition BJP and Congress.

The TRS has named Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy as its candidate while Congress party has fielded Palvai Sravanti.

All the three major contestants have exuded confidence of a win in the by-election, considered significant ahead of the next year’s Assembly elections.

The TRS had on Sunday demanded disqualification of Rajagopal Reddy following his statement that his company received Rs 18,000 contract from the Central government.

A delegation of TRS leaders called on State Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj and submitted a representation, demanding disqualification of Rajagopal Reddy for the by-election.

The delegation brought to the notice of the CEO that Rajagopal Reddy revealed in an interview to a television channel that he joined the BJP after his company received the contract.

In 2018 elections, Rajagopal Reddy had won the seat on Congress party ticket. He had defeated Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of TRS by 23,552 votes.

Rajagopal Reddy had polled 99,239A while Prabhakar Reddy had garnered 61,687 votes. BJP’s G. Manohar Reddy was a distant third with 12,725 votes.

Munugode, a traditional stronghold of Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI), was wrested from CPI by the TRS in 2014. Prabhakar Reddy was then elected as the TRS candidate.

This time, both the CPI and CPI-M have declared their support to TRS. The Left parties said they took the decision to defeat BJP.

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