BJP Surge In Hyderabad Local Polls Ruins KCR’s Victory Party
Telangana’s ruling TRS party emerged as the largest party as votes were counted today in the high-stakes Hyderabad municipal election, but its victory was dimmed by the BJP’s massive surge after an exceptionally high-voltage and divisive campaign. The BJP, which mounted a campaign that was unusually aggressive for any local election, is set to take second place in a close fight with the AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi.
The complete results of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls may be announced only later in the evening.
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.
According to the latest leads, the TRS may end up with less than 60 of 150 municipal seats or wards. The BJP may cross 40, with the AIMIM hovering close.
“TRS is winning in most seats. As voting was by paper ballot we have to wait 3-4 hours to get exact numbers. I believe BJP numbers will further decline and heavy support for TRS will surface. We’ll have our mayor and do public works uninterrupted,” TRS leader K Kavitha was quoted by news agency ANI as saying earlier today.
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.
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.