GHMC polls: BJP emerges as major force; TRS largest party

Acknowledging the shortcomings on the party, senior Congress leader Addanki Dayakar attributed the party’s poor show to fast-tracking of GHMC polls by the TRS government that didn’t give enough time for the party leaders, who were demoralised by t...

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Bonthu Rammohan and team celebrate after his wife won,at the TRS Bhavan on Frida
Hyderabad: The BJP put up an impressive performance in the Hyderabad urban polls, emerging as the second-largest party in the corporation. Its seats went up from 4 to 48, indicating that it could become the alternative force to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the state soon, replacing the Congress.

The TRS scraped through as the largest party winning 55 and could not secure a majority in the 150 ward Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. With ex-officio votes of 52, the total strength of GHMC is 202. The TRS hopes to secure the mayor’s post with the help of the AIMIM, which won 44 seats. BJP came second in almost all wards that it lost to TRS or AIMIM in the old city of Hyderabad for the first time. In alliance with the TDP, the party could win only 4 seats in 2016. TRS had won 99 wards in 2016. The Congress retained 2 to stay afloat but emerged a distant third in most wards that it lost to TRS, BJP or AIMIM, losing its vote share sharply. AIMIM retained its 2016 tally of 44 too.

GHMC accounts for 5 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats and 24 out of 119 assembly constituencies of Telangana and houses nearly a third of the state’s population. For the first time, hardly any civic issue was debated in the high-decibel poll campaign that centered around communal issues like Nizam culture, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan taking shelter in the old city of Hyderabad and ‘surgical strikes’ planned by BJP to weed out illegal immigrants. Apart from party chief JP Nadda, home minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP deployed Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani, Kishan Reddy, BJYM national president Tejasvi Surya for the campaign. TRS deployed over 100 of its top leaders including the chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, ministers, MPs and MLAs.


“While the BJP has more than succeeded in its poll strategy around communal polarisation, the ruling TRS scraped through, thanks to its all-out attempts to rouse the emotions and fears around likely adverse effects on law and order if the BJP was voted to power,” said political analyst Manchala Srinivasa Rao.

“TRS has also paid the price for sailing with the saffron party for nearly five years and focusing on dissipating the Congress.” BJP manifesto committee chairman Gaddam Vivek Venkataswamy said, “it is a major victory for the BJP as the people of Telangana are convinced that we can emerge as an alternative to the TRS. The highly positive GHMC results are a stepping stone for us to strive for power in Telangana in the next general elections.”

Admitting the anti-incumbency in certain pockets of the state for having been into power for the last six years, senior TRS leader and former speaker S Madhusudhana Chary said, “apart from the divisive politics of BJP, the failures and shortcomings on the part of Congress also seems to have helped the BJP to garner the anti-incumbency votes.”
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Acknowledging the shortcomings on the party, senior Congress leader Addanki Dayakar attributed the party’s poor show to fast-tracking of GHMC polls by the TRS government that didn’t give enough time for the party leaders, who were demoralised by the setbacks suffered in the recent Bihar polls. “Communal polarisation has helped the BJP to gain significantly in the Hyderabad urban polls. TRS, which had focused its energies on dissipating the Congress with rampant poachings for years, will soon realise how dangerous that strategy was once it starts facing the threats from the BJP.”


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