Hyderabad: the Telangana state election commission on Tuesday, November 17, notified the election schedule for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, setting the polling date on December 1 and the results to be declared on December 4. As only two weeks are left for the election process, the political parties are gearing up to prove their electoral strengths in the state’s capital.
The election schedule was released after consultation with the state government as per the new GHMC Act, said the State Election Commissioner, C Parthasarathy while releasing the notification.
Observers say that the key issues in the elections include the government’s performance in containing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, development in GHMC by sitting corporators, recent floods, water and proper housing facilities for the poorer sections among others.
A total of 74,04,770 voters will participate in the elections including 38,56,770 men, 35,46,847 women and 669 from transgender categories.
The polls will be held for 150 wards or divisions in GHMC across its 24 Assembly constituencies.
In the previous 2016 elections, the ruling Telangana Rasthra Samithi (TRS) won in 99 wards which had no seats in 2009 polls, while All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) won in 44 wards, Bharatiya Janata Party won in four wards leaving two for Congress and one seat for Telugu Desam Party (TDP). The TDP corporator, later joined the ruling TRS.
In the 2016 elections, TDP and BJP contested in a seat sharing alliance.
The table below shows how the political parties performed in 24 Assembly constituencies in GHMC in 2014 and 2018 elections.
For TRS and AIMIM, retaining their seats is crucial, BJP is claiming to expand its strength in the state capital while Congress is looking for a comeback. As key TDP leaders and their cadre have defected into TRS and BJP parties, and considering its minimal politics in Telangana post-bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, its previous vote bank is expected to shift to other parties.
BJP has roped in its national secretary Bhupendra Yadav as the GHMC elections incharge and its leaders are saying that they are confident of performing well similar to the recent Dubbak bypoll where their candidate Raghunandan won with a majority of over 1,000 votes defeating TRS.
Congress, on the other side, which has had a considerable presence in GHMC for a long time is claiming to revive the party through these crucial elections.
Left parties, Communist Party of India and CPI (Marxist) are set to go for an united fight in selected regions where they have a stronghold, said Narasinha Rao of CPI(M). The parties and their affiliated mass organisations have massive membership in Hyderabad.
While the recent floods in GHMC and the following relief operations have been criticised by the opposition parties, the TRS-led government has announced Rs 10,000 per family for households affected in the floods. Funds worth over Rs 470 crore have already been disbursed, and the government has now asked people to apply in Mee Seva centres if relief funds have not been availed.
GHMC elections verdict is considered to reveal the mandate of the state as people from all parts of the state reside there.