GHMC elections: “Gully vs Delhi fight”

If a vibrant democracy is about the difference of opinion, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections are proofs of our being one. Even the bookies are split in their opinion about the thriller most people expect the Tuesday election might turn out to be. But the broadest truism is well established – it is a neck-and-neck race between the ruling TRS and the challenger, the BJP, and the MIM expected to hold on to its fortress. Voting for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is underway on Tuesday.
Over 7.4 million people are exercising their franchise in the fifth largest metropolitan city area of India. As many as 1,122 candidates are in the fray for 150 constituencies. This civic body has over 74 lakh voters and has a budget of over five thousand crores (5,380). The Hyderabad city’s total population is over 82 lakh.
These local issues are going to drive many people to come out of their comfort zones and vote. The polling percentage was 42.04 per cent in 2009 and 45.29 per cent in 2016. Since many people think these numbers need to improve, there is a major focus on encouraging youngsters to come out and vote. The main contest in the poll is among the ruling TRS, opposition BJP and the Congress. BJP’a roaring entry into the civic body elections has sent shocking wave among rival parties—especially Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The TRS leaders dubbed this civic body polls as “gully vs Delhi fight” because they saw an unprecedented level of campaigning from the BJP involving its top guns including party chief J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavin.
Some BJP leaders have promised Hyderabad voters that they would change this Nizam’s city name and would give it its historic name as Bhagya Nagar. However, Owaisi dares to BJP to change the city’s name. After local bodies’ elections in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP threw all its power in GHMC election. If it succeeded, it will pave the way for success in West Bengal where the elections are due.
Meanwhile, ruling TRS MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah passed away this morning. He was unwell for some time and was undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Hyderabad. The two-time CPM MLA had joined the TRS in 2013 and won from Nagarjuna Sagar constituency in 2018. The counting of votes will take place on December 4 and results will be declared in the evening.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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