Why did Konda Surekha get so many votes?

File Photo: Konda Surekha caught red-handed, distributing cash in Parakala constituency

Many Telangana activists were suprised at the number of votes polled to Konda Surekha in Parakala. Here is an analysis of the factors that contributed to Konda Surekha’s vote haul in Parakala.

Konda Surekha and her husband Konda Murali have been ruling some mandals in Parakala like Rayalaseema factionists. They are maintaining private army and have ensured that there is no opposition to them in that constituency. Konda Murali is an ex-naxalite and is known to be an extortionist. He has unleashed a reign of terror in surrounding mandals from past 10 years. His victims include common people to noted leaders like Errabelli Dayakara Rao (TDP) and Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy (Congress). Konda Murali already has several criminal cases against him.

Initial reports indicated that Konda Surekha would sweep Geesukonda mandal in Parakala constituency. TRS has tried its level best to penetrate into that mandal. But reliable sources say that Konda Murali used his strong arm techniques to get maximum votes from this mandal. He has exploited one draw-back in the Electronic Voting Machines to the core. The EVM’s give a booth-wise number of votes polled to each candidate. Earlier, when the paper ballots were used, Election commission used to mix up the votes in drums before counting. This was done to safeguard people from violent backlash from politicians if they realize that a particular village did not vote for their candidature.

In Geesukonda mandal, Konda Murali apparently warned of dire consequences if they did not vote for Konda Surekha. With EVMs, leaders like Konda Murali will easily know a booth-wise detail of voting patterns.  This is one of the important reasons for the high number of votes she got in Geesukonda.


For example in Vanchanagiri village Konda Surekha got 1,640 votes out of a total of 2,147 votes. It was in this village that Konda Murali had got murdered a TDP leader named Gopagani Pratap in 1997. Konda Murali is also accused in the murder of K. Komaraiah, Sarpanch of Shayampet village.

There are about two dozen pending cases against Konda Murali in different police stations including those relating to extortion, murder, gunrunning, possession of hand grenades and landgrabbing. Cases had even been registered against him under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

Konda Murali is also a prime suspect in the firing incident that took place at Mahabubabad Railway Station during the proposed Odarpu Yatra of Jagan in May 2010. Three Telangana activists were severaly injured in that firing. A student named Paul Raj lost his eye, when a bullet scraped through his face on that day.

A sizeable chunk of settlers from Seemandhra in Parakala also voted en-bloc to Konda Surekha. The settlers were so brazen in their behavior that some Telangana activists found photographs of slain Rayalaseema factionist Paritala Ravi in their homes, when they visited these villages for election campaigning.

While many Telangana activists treat YSRCP and Konda Surekha as anti-Telangana, a close observation of Konda Surekha’s election campaigning shows that she has repeatedly said that she had resigned for Telangana’s cause and as per Telangana JAC’s call. So, it would be foolish to interpret the votes polled to her as anti-Telangana.

Another thing that resulted in high number of votes was the indiscriminate money distribution by Konda Murali. Konda Surekha was caught red handed distributing money along with campaign pamphlets. Konda Murali used online transfer to distribute cash to second rung leaders. The election commission has noticed this and has ordered the local banks to hand them over the details of Konda Murali’s bank accounts. Apart from Cash and other inducements, Konda’s family also resorted to a novel inducement – cotton seeds to thousands of farmers.

This by-election has resulted in a massive amount of cash and other inducements being offered to voters. All political parties including YSRCP, Congress, TDP and BJP were caught red-handed by the state election commission and the police department. It is only TRS which has not distributed cash in this election. TRS has only banked on the popular support it enjoys as the champion of Telangana movement.

Konda Surekha was YSRCP’s strongest candidate in entire Telangana. She was the only Congress MLA who had resigned in support of YS Jagan. She has also sacrificed her Minister post for Jagan. In spite of such ‘sacrifice’ and her husband’s money and muscle power, she had to bite dust in Parakala.

Konda Surekha’s humiliating defeat in the hands of TRS candidate Moluguri Bikshapathy will send a strong signal to any fence sitters from Congress and TDP in Telangana region.

The message from Prakala is loud and clear. It is going to be a tough task to win on a YSRCP ticket in Telangana

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