Hyderabad, Nov 17 (IANS) Political parties will get only 10 days to campaign in the elections for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) on Tuesday announced the poll schedule and issued the notification.
Polling for 150-member municipal body will be held on December 1 while counting of votes will be taken up on December 4.
The process for filing of nominations will begin on Wednesday and will continue till November 20. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be taken up on November 21 while November 22 will be the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
The Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) took exception to the hurried manner in which the TSEC is conducting the polls. “They want to complete the entire poll process in two weeks. The elections were never conducted in such a manner,” TJS leader M. Kodandaram said.
He alleged that following the setback in the recent by-election to Dubbak Assembly constituency, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was afraid of another defeat. “The government wants to rush through the GHMC polls as it was worried that the opposition parties may join hands,” he said.
Immediately after the announcement of poll schedule, major political parties began the exercise of selecting their candidates and finalising their strategies.
The TRS, which had won secured massive majority with 99 seats in 2016 polls, is trying to use all the resources at its disposal to retain power in key municipal body. They party is focusing on 100 divisions, unofficially leaving the remaining for its friendly party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The two parties are not likely to have a formal alliance but may unofficially agree for friendly contests in divisions where the AIMIM has strong presence.
TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has entrusted the responsibility of ensuring party’s victory to ministers, MLAs, MLCs and other senior leaders.
“We are confident of winning over 100 seats. We will be seeking the mandate on the basis of our government’s performance and the development and welfare programmes undertaken during last six years,” said Animal Husbandry Minister T. Srinivas Yadav, a key TRS leader in Hyderabad.
Yadav believes that the Dubbak result will have no impact on GHMC polls. “People will not be misled by the false propaganda of the opposition parties,” he said.
Buoyed by its victory in Dubbak, the opposition BJP is also looking to wrest GHMC from TRS. After the announcement of polls scheduled, senior party leaders went into a huddle to work out the poll strategy.
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy, who represents Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency, will be leading the campaign for the saffron party. He was sure that the BJP will repeat Dubbak in Greater Hyderabad.
“We are confident that the next Mayor of Hyderabad will be from BJP. We will highlight the failures of the TRS government and promise to take the city on the path of development,” he said.
Though Jana Sena led by popular actor Pawan Kalyan has announced that it will also enter the fray in the GHMC polls, it was immediately not clear if it will have an alliance with BJP, its ally in Andhra Pradesh.
Kishan Reddy said BJP would take a decision in this regard after talks with Pawan Kalyan.
Opposition Congress party will also be making a determined bid to come to power in GHMC. The party has already named incharges for the four Lok Sabha constituencies which come under GHMC limits.
Senior Congress leaders were holding meetings with party cadres at division level to strengthen the party ahead of the electoral battle.
The AIMIM, led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, will be keen to emerge as a kingmaker, a role which it traditionally enjoyed in the municipal body. However, in the previous elections the landslide victory of the TRS denied the party the role of a kingmaker.
With 44 seats, the AIMIM had emerged as the second largest party in 2016. It is confident of another impressive performance.