The leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday lodged a protest with the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) over the delay announcing round-wise results in Munugode Assembly by-election.
State BJP president Bandi Sanjay alleged that CEO Vikas Raj’s conduct was raising suspicions. He said that round-wise results were being announced only if Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was in the lead. “When the BJP candidate is taking the lead, round-wise details are not being released,” he said.
He wanted to know why the CEO failed to update the results in the second and third rounds after declaring the outcome of the first and second rounds. Sanjay, who is also a Member of Parliament, said never in the past such delay in updating results was reported.
Sanjay said the CEO was releasing the round-wise figures of votes polled by the candidates only after pressure from the media. He said if there was any irregularity in counting and declaration of results, the BJP would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India.
Meanwhile, Union minister for tourism and culture G. Kishan Reddy spoke to the CEO over phone and expressed his unhappiness over the delay in announcing round-wise results. He questioned the CEO on why he was not announcing the results at the end of every round.
The poll officials, however, dismissed the criticism and clarified that counting was underway in a transparent manner. They attributed the delay in announcing round-wise results to the presence of a large number of candidates.
A total of 47 candidates are in fray in Munugode. In the neck and neck battle, TRS candidate K. Prabhakar Reddy was leading by a narrow margin over his nearest rival Rajagopal Reddy of the BJP.