Following Launched Campaigns, Hyderabad Local Bodies Polls Will Be Conducted Today
Following a high-decibel campaign over the past 12 days, elections for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Voting for the fifth largest metropolitan area in the country will begin at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Up to 7,467,256 voters will vote, with 1,122 candidates in the fray for 150 seats, each representing a division of the GHMC.
Unlike previous polls, traditional ballots have replaced electronic voting machines. “The counting of the votes will take place on December 4 and the results will be declared that night,” State Elections Commissioner C Parthasarathy said Monday.
As part of the Covid-19 measures, authorities disinfected polling stations and forced voters to use disinfectant before entering the booths. Authorities have also marked the area at polling stations to ensure social distancing in queues.
Polls by local bodies have become a prestigious battle for the main political parties participating in the elections. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is competing in all 150 divisions, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 149, Congress in 146, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 106 and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in 51 divisions.
In the 2015 elections, the first after the formation of Telangana, the TRS had won 99 of the 150 seats, displacing the Congress that won only two seats. AIMIM, which participated in the elections in alliance with the TRS, won 44 seats, while the BJP-TDP alliance won five seats.
The BJP, encouraged by its recent victory in the by-elections for the Dubbak assembly seat, hopes to emerge as a major contender before the 2023 state assembly elections. The party summoned high-level leaders, including the minister of the Union insider Amit Shah to campaign, prompting AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi to say it looked like “the people are going to elect a new wazir-e-azam (prime minister).”