The counting of votes in the high-stakes Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election is scheduled to take place on Friday. Though the run-up to the Hyderabad civic poll saw a high pitched campaign by the parties, the turnout of the voters on December 1 was an unimpressive 46.55 per cent (34.50 lakh) out of the total 74.67 lakh voters.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the counting process which would begin at 8 am on Friday. Counting centres have been set up at 30 places and per hall, there will be 14 tables. The total number of personnel engaged in counting is 8,152 and the entire counting process would be recorded with CCTV cameras installed at every counting table, official sources told news agency PTI.
First, the postal ballots will be counted followed by ballot papers. It is to be noted that polls were held on ballot papers. The results are likely to be known only in the evening or in the night. There are 150 wards for which elections were held and the results will be declared for all the wards.
The parties and seats contested are–TRS (150); BJP (149); AIMIM (51); Congress (146); TDP (106); other regional parties (76); Independent candidates (415); CPI(M)- 12 and CPI (17). A total of 1,122 candidates contested for the 150 seats
The Telangana State Election Commission had decided to conduct the election with ballot papers after obtaining the views of major political parties, the health department in view of COVID-19 and taking into consideration various relevant issues, the SEC said earlier. The lead up to the polling witnessed a vociferous campaign by the parties.
Bolstered by its victory in the recent bypoll to Dubbak Assembly constituency, the BJP conducted a spirited campaign to win the GHMC poll to boost its chances in the 2023 Assembly polls. It has drafted its General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav, who has been its in-charge for Bihar, to supervise the poll preparations in Hyderabad.
Top leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party president J P Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani and MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy, who is Lok Sabha member from Secunderabad, party MP and BJYM national president Tejasvi Surya participated in the campaign.
The BJP highlighted the TRS’s “alliance” with the AIMIM and sought votes to provide clean and transparent administration in the city.
The state’s ruling party has deployed several state Ministers and legislators for canvassing in the city. The Congress’s poll battle was led by its state president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Working President A Revanth Reddy (both MPs) and other senior leaders.
The TDP, once a major force in the state, sought to revive its fortunes highlighting the development witnessed in the city, including in the IT sector, during N Chandrababu Naidu’s regime as Chief Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The TRS and BJP leaders were engaged in a war of words. BJP’s Telangana president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar found himself in a row following his comments that his party would conduct a “surgical strike” in the old city here, if necessary, to send away Rohingyas and Pakistanis after it wins the post of Mayor in the polls.
AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi in a poll campaign earned the wrath of his opponents by asking whether the ‘samadhis’ of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and TDP founder N T Rama Rao, built on the Hussain Sagar lake bank, would be removed as he questioned the eviction drive against “poor people” residing near water bodies.
The polls in the city also assume political significance as 24 Assembly segments fall under the GHMC limits.
Repolling was held in the Old Malakpet ward of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Thursday. The repolling was ordered after an error was detected in the ballot paper with regard to the symbol of the CPI candidate during polling on December 1.
The Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday ordered fresh poll to be conducted on Thursday in all 69 polling stations of Old Malakpet (Ward number 26) after it was found that the symbol of CPI (M) (Hammer, sickle and star) was printed instead of CPI’s symbol (Ears of Corn & Sickle) in the ballot paper.
The CPI had petitioned the election authorities on the matter. Official sources told PTI the polling percentage in the Old Malakpet ward was 38.46. According to PTI’s sources, 46.55 per cent polling was reported in the GHMC election held on December 1.
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