With the GHMC elections being held in Hyderabad on Tuesday, here are some things to know:
Many candidates, 75 lakh voters
There are 1,333 candidates in the fray for 150 divisions with 50 percent seats reserved for women. Almost 75 lakh voters are expected to cast their vote at 7,802 polling stations. Twenty-two percent voting has been reported by 12 pm.
Huge test for TRS
For the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, stakes are high as it is trying to open its account in these elections after drawing a blank in the previous one. The TRS, which is contesting all 150 seats, has indicated that it may enter into a post-poll alliance with AIMIM for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor. TRS is hoping to win more than 80 seats in these elections, which is unprecedented for any party.
Greater Hyderabad party president Mr Mynampally Hanumanth Rao said, â€śHyderabad will turn into a smart city because TRS is looking at developing it on par with global cities. We are confident of wining majority of seats and will emerge as the single largest party. The first mayor will be from the TRS.â€ť
Will AIMIM strike gold?
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi is a key player in Hyderabad's politics, having bagged 43 seats in 2009 GHMC elections and sharing power with the then ruling Congress party. It is contesting 75 seats in this yearâ€™s elections. The elections are crucial for the party to expand its influence and establish a national footprint.
Parochialism at play
Parochialism is also at play as MIM chief Owaisi had said in the past that Hyderabad is for Hyderabadis and called upon voters to reject outsiders with particular reference to TDP, Congress and BJP.
The Seemandhra voters could play a crucial role in the final equation because they may vote against the ruling TRS for their insistence on bifurcation of the state, which they were opposed to. In view of this, the TRS has tried to reach out to voters from Andhra and Rayalseema regions settled in Hyderabad.
Test for TDP-BJP
The TDP-BJP alliance is expected to present a tough fight to the ruling TRS. TDP President and AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has highlighted the transformation that Hyderabad has undergone by turning it into an IT hub, under his 9-year rule as CM of undivided AP.