The promise of double-bed room houses for the poor, wooing influential leaders from other parties and giving tickets to Seemandhra natives are among the key factors that led to the clean sweep of TRS in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. The ruling TRS in Telangana scored a thumping victory by bagging 99 in the 150 wards in the polls results of which were declared late last night. Opposition Congress (2) and TDP-BJP (1-4) combine suffered a humiliating defeat having been reduced to single digit scores.
The largely old city-based MIM, led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, is the only party that withstood the onslaught of the ruling party by winning 44 wards. The victory completes the domination of TRS in Telangana politics as the party has, hitherto, been considered weak in the GHMC limits. The results show that the TRS has come a long way from not even contesting the last GHMC elections in 2009. It won just a couple of seats among the 24 assembly segments that come under the GHMC limits.
The GHMC win also gives TRS the means to sustain its strength in the long run in Telangana politics as 24 assembly segments in the state come under the GHMC limits. Any major defeat in the GHMC polls would have been an embarrassment to the TRS though it runs the state government. Determined to wrest the GHMC, TRS appears to have begun its preparations long ago. Four TDP MLAs, including T Srinivas Yadav who was later made Minister, also joined TRS in recent months, helping it to strengthen the base in segments under GHMC.
Several ward-level leaders from opposition parties had also joined the TRS ranks in the run up to GHMC polls and emerged victorious. It is now widely acknowledged that the promise of double-bed room houses for poor worked wonders for the TRS, whose government built them in a city residential colony as a first step. The February 2 GHMC election recorded over 45 per cent voter turn out, mainly from the poorer sections.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced yesterday that one lakh double bed room houses would be built in the city in the coming months.
He also said Hyderabad would have uninterrupted powersupply like Mumbai. In the wake of opposition’s allegation that the TRS had intimidated Seemandhra natives (those from Andhra Pradesh settled in Hyderabad), who form a sizable part of the GHMC electorate, during the separate statehood stir, the ruling party put up a spirited campaign to woo them and seemed to have succeeded in their endeavour.
State IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao, son of the chief minister, who led the campaign, repeatedly asserted that Hyderabad stands for all.
The party gave tickets to those from Seemandhra in localities where they are in domination. Chief Minister Rao had also asserted yesterday that all those living in Hyderabad have equal status. The total rout in the GHMC polls lay the opposition Congress, TDP and BJP in tatters as they sought to salvage prestige following their failure in the Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll.
Congress was plagued by problems like alleged lack of enthusiasm by its Greater Hyderabad president and former minister D Nagender. In the wake of speculation that he would join TRS, Nagender had to clarify that he would remain with the Congress.
The dismal performance is a big disappointment to the TDP though its President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his son N Lokesh, who is TDP General Secretary, campaigned in the polls. TDP harped on the efforts of Naidu in transforming Hyderabad into a IT hub when he was the chief minister of undivided AP, but it is the TRS which is in power now.
TDP too allegedly had problems of internal bickerings and its alliance with BJP did not go on smoothly at some places.