Counting of votes for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections, on December 4, 2020. (Source: GHMC PRO)
Hyderabad GHMC Election Results 2020 Highlights: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has emerged as the single-largest party in the Hyderabad civic polls, winning 55 seats, followed by the BJP which has made significant electoral inroads, winning 48 seats. At 44 seats, the AIMIM trailed the saffron party, but performed well in its traditional bastion of the old city of Hyderabad. Meanwhile, the Congress, which has been pushed to the sidelines, has only two divisions to its credit.
The results have been declared for 149 out of 150 divisions in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Counting of votes has been halted at Neredmet division as ballot papers with distinguish markers instead of ‘arrow cross-mark rubber stamp’ were found in majority.
While the BJP is celebrating its impressive show, the TRS–which had won 88 seats in the 2016 elections–said it will analyse the downfall in performance. TRS working president KT Rama Rao said the party fell short of 20-25 seats. “We will address the issues on why we haven’t received a desired outcome,” he said. (Also read: What’s at stake for the TRS and BJP in the GHMC polls?)
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, on the other hand, hailed the party’s performance as a “moral victory” and called the BJP the “only alternative” to the ruling TRS. Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated party workers and expressed gratitude to voters who “reposed faith in PM Modi-led BJP’s politics of development”.
Though the run-up to the polls 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.
Hyderabad GHMC Election Results 2020 Highlights: A prestige battle for TRS, BJP and AIMIM; voter turnout 46.55 per cent; high security and arrangements amid Covid-19; police say no victory rallies from 48 hours after results. Follow latest news and updates below:
Residents of Hyderabad, wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus, wait in a queue to cast their votes during the GHMC elections, on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. (AP Photo: Mahesh Kumar A.)
While the TRS swept the Assembly elections held in December 2018, in the parliamentary elections held in April 2019, the ruling party lost four crucial Lok Sabha seats to the BJP, and another stronghold, Malkajgiri, to the Congress, which won two other seats also. On November 10, in the Dubbak Assembly by-election, the ruling party, which had won the seat in 2018 by a huge margin, lost to the BJP. Unnerved by the loss in Dubbak, the TRS advanced the GHMC election, which was to be held in January, hoping to catch its rivals off guard.
However, the party is facing flak for its handling of the recent Hyderabad floods. People are blaming the municipal administration and the government for reacting late, and when they did, it was said to be lackadaisical and inadequate. Several residential colonies remained inundated for several days and devoid of essential supplies and drinking water as officials could not find enough pumps to take out the water.
What opportunity does BJP see in Hyderabad?
For the BJP, which now has two MLAs and four MPs, the civic election is an opportunity to increase its presence in Hyderabad and gain more ground in the hinterland of Telangana. Party leaders also want to prove that it is not the Congress but the BJP which is now the main rival to TRS.
Apart from Karnataka, the BJP does not have much presence in the four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where regional parties have a tight grip. By winning four Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats, the BJP sees an opening in Telangana. This is the reason the party deputed Bihar election in-charge Bhupender Yadav, who helped the party win 72 seats there, to Hyderabad to chalk out a plan for the GHMC election. BJP leaders are optimistic that the party has replaced the Congress as the arch rival of TRS, and is set to become the top contender in the near future. The party intends to break the TRS-AIMIM alliance across the state by positioning itself as a reliable and a development-oriented alternative, and GHMC election provides the opportunity to test that strategy and strength.