GHMC POLLS … TRS emerges as single largest party, BJP next, AIMIM in third slot

NEWS GHMC NIGHT UPDATE:

HYDERABAD: On a day of high suspense, Telangana’s ruling TRS party emerged as the largest party and the BJP as the second largest, with the AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi coming as third and major force in the Greater Hyderabad municipal corporation (GHMC) elections, the results of which streamed in on Friday. The final position is yet to be known, while most results were out.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao faced serious reverses and saw a 40 per cent drop in its tally from the 2016 polls. It lost some 30 seats to the BJP. According to the latest leads, the TRS may end up with less than 60 of 150 municipal seats or wards. The BJP may win 50, with the AIMIM retaining at least 40. In the previous election, the TRS scored 99 seats, the AIMIM 44 and the BJP 4.“The result is not what we expected. We fell short by 20-25 seats than our expectations. 10-12 seats saw a margin of less than 200 votes. There’s nothing to be disappointed, we will be single largest party,” said Telangana minister and son of chief minister, KT Rama Rao. The CM had hoped to win at least 80 of the total 150 seats.UPDATE: 1930 HRS: The TRS won 53 divisions, the AIMIM  43  divisions and the BJP 32 divisions as counting for the GHMC polls continued this evening. A total of 150 seats were up for polls… The Congress  won two divisions.
UPDATE:1230 hours: The ruling TRS is taking the lead in nearly 50 seats while the AIMIM led in 23 seats and the BJP in 21 seats … Counting progresses for 150-member Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls. IHN-NNNEWS GHMC/ first report/ 10.am.

HYDERABAD: BJP was leading in 20 out of 29 seats when initial trends of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls were out an hour after the start of counting this morning. Counting of votes for the 150 corporation wards started at the LB Stadium by 8am.

The ruling Telugu Rashtra Samithi leader and daughter of chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, K Kavita, said the party would win no less than 100 seats. Her father was more cautious, though, and hoped the party could win 80 seats.

As many as 1122 candidates are in the fray. There was a nearly 47 per cent voter turnout in the hotly contested elections in which the BJP played a major role for the first time alongside TRS and the AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi. Some 34 lakh of the total 74 lakh voters participated in the electoral exercise. In view of the Covid pandemic, the voting was done by ballot papers and not by electronic voting machines.

The BJP campaigned actively for the civic polls by fielding, among others, Union home minister Amit Shah. BJP chief JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The BJP promised to change the name of Hyderabad to Bhagyanagar – a clear communal bait to woo Hindu voters in a locale where Muslims formed a sizeable number of the electorate.

The last GHMC polls saw the TRS winning as high as 99 seats while the Owaisi party won 44 seats, the BJP won four seats, the Congress two seats and the TDP of Chandrababu Naidu one seat. 

This time, the BJP is seeing the GHMC polls as a stepping stone to the bigger battlefield, the assembly polls in 2013 as scheduled, or much earlier through effecting a split in the ruling TRS and pulling down of the KCR government.–IHN-NN

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