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Hung Hyderabad

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election results are out and this is pretty much what I expected - a hung result. TRS has suffered the maximum damage as their numbers have decreased from 99 to 55 whereas BJP rose from 4 to 48 swooping all the seats lost by TRS. AIMIM has retained their number of seats with 44. Congress surprisingly retained their 2 seats in the council. It is no brainer that TDP did not win a single seat.

TRS is the single largest party but does not have the required magic figure of 76 seats. It needs the support of their part-time friend and part-time foe, AIMIM (TRS and AIMIM were in an alliance during the previous GHMC elections). But doing so, they will fall down the trap laid by BJP. TRS and AIMIM say that there is no alliance between them but BJP says otherwise. TRS can still win the mayor seat if AIMIM abstains from voting or does not turn up during the mayor voting process as they will have the majority. Even if TRS captures the mayor seat in this way it implies that AIMIM is supporting TRS indirectly. BJP would celebrate if wither of those happen.

BJP list of primary campaigners included:

1. Amit Shah

2. JP Nadda

3. Yogi Adityanath

4. Prakash Javadekar

5. Smirti Irani

6. Tejaswi Surya

7. Kishan Reddy

8. Bandi Sanjay

(Orange ones are either MP's and from the central leadership group)

They've come all guns blazing after winning the Dubbaka by-elections. They sense an opportunity in Telangana as the opposition is nonexistent and also as a gateway to power in South India. Congress was in power when the Telangana was formed but could not catch the tide and TDP shifted its focus to Andhra Pradesh and thereby causing a power vacuum. BJP is trying to fill that vacuum right now. GHMC elections were like a trial run for BJP. They fielded big guns for the campaign in order to attract voters. Most of their seats (2/3rd) are from LB Nagar and Secunderabad. LB Nagar was one of the areas worst affected by the floods.

AIMIM won in most of the areas they've contested. They had a strike rate of 85% which is really high but they've won most of their seats on a religious basis. They've won in Muslim dominated areas and their performance was abysmal in other areas as usual.

The campaigns were rocked by country issues rather than city issues. Demonetization, Surgical Strikes, Name change (a bad idea!) and whatnot. TRS did play the development card wherein they've mentioned about all developments in the form of Facebook, Google and Apple in the city. Rest was the pretty much the blame game.

The voting percentage was the highest in recent years but is still abysmal at 47%. This is something which happens all the time in Hyderabad as the majority of people return to their home towns on the day of the election to enjoy their "holiday". I felt SEC could have done better at increasing the awareness amongst voters regarding voting. There were no campaigns by the State Election Commission regarding. The previous state election commissioner, Bhavar Lal did an excellent job in this regards.

Nonetheless, the results have turned the tides in Telangana. TRS will be on backfoot and restructure themselves whereas BJP will try to use the momentum in the upcoming local body elections in other cities of Telangana. And to conclude with, I predict TRS capturing the mayor post with the indirect support of AIMIM.




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