Even as TRS emerged as the largest party in the high-voltage Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, it is the BJP that has emerged as the real winner dealing a major blow to the ruling dispensation.
While the TRS won 56 seats, the BJP occupied the second spot with 46 seats pushing Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM to the third spot that could manage 42 seats till the time of publishing this report. The Congress, continuing its fall throughout the country, delivered a miserable performance and could win just two seats. BJP’s victory also assumes political significance as 24 Assembly segments fall under the GHMC limits.
BJP makes inroads in Hyderabad
The TRS or Telangana Rashtra Samiti of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao may see a 40 per cent drop in its tally from the 2016 polls, conceding at least 30 seats to the BJP.
The BJP, with nothing to lose, made big gains at the cost of the ruling party in an area where it was almost non-existent so far. For the BJP, these results mark a giant leap in their plans for the 2023 Telangana election, which they say will be a straight fight between the TRS and the BJP, with the Congress hardly a player.
Polarised poll campaign
The TRS has saved face but the loss of nearly 40 per cent of its municipal seats is not a good sign for the ruling party. The AIMIM may retain its 40 plus seats, which is not unexpected, given the polarised campaign.
As the BJP got off to a good start with postal ballots in the early hours of counting, several BJP leaders posted self-congratulatory posts.
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A deeply polarising campaign this time by most parties focused more on Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and whether Hyderabad wants its name changed to Bhagyanagar than civic matters like roads, sanitation and water supply.
The BJP raised the stakes in the civic polls after its victory in the recent by-election to the Dubbak assembly constituency. The party flew in national leaders like Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani, hoping to convince Hyderabad that a change was needed, if not now then certainly in the 2023 state polls.
The BJP’s Tejasvi Surya, the Bangalore South MP, was widely criticised for his provocative remarks while taking on the TRS and Asaduddin Owaisi.
BJP’s Telangana president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar controversially said his party would conduct a “surgical strike” in the old city, if necessary, to send away the Rohingya and Pakistanis after it wins the post of mayor in the polls.
Telangana Congress chief resigns
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy has tendered his resignation owing to the party’s poor performance in the GHMC elections. He has been the party’s Telangana chief since 2014.
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