From four seats to 48: How the BJP has grown in the Hyderabad municipal polls

The BJP won 48 seats out of the 149 seats for which results have been declared.
From four seats to 48: How the BJP has grown in the Hyderabad municipal polls
From four seats to 48: How the BJP has grown in the Hyderabad municipal polls
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In the run-up to the GHMC polls, the TRS has time and again reiterated that they consider AIMIM as their biggest rival and not the BJP. The reason they stated was that in the 2016 GHMC elections, the AIMIM had gained the second largest vote share. In what may come as a surprise to many, the high-pitched election campaign of the BJP seems to have paid rich dividends to the party in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Elections (GHMC) elections. The BJP has managed to win 48 seats out of the total of 149 wards for which results were declared. A total of 150 wards went to polls, the result of the Neredmet seat has been kept on hold.

One of the reasons that seems to have worked for the BJP is its star campaigners. All top leaders visited Hyderabad to campaign in the civic polls. Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath, Tejasvi Surya, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani are just some of the many leaders who made their way to Hyderabad. MoS Home G Kishen Reddy, who is also the Secunderabad MP campaigned extensively in the city.

The GHMC campaign this time was communally-charged but the BJP seems to have managed to impress upon many voters that the TRS and AIMIM are not rivals, but friendly parties and voting for either means the same. This also may have helped consolidate the Hindu vote bank, a strategy that has always worked for the BJP elsewhere. From calling Owaisi a Jinnah, talking about a surgical strike on the old city and making several such comments, the BJP brought a religious flavour to Hyderabad.

This election has also proved that there is a strong anti-incumbency against the ruling-TRS and the Congress’s failure to cash in on this, has only paved way for the BJP to strengthen its position in the political scenario in the state. BJP asserting itself has not only hurt the TRS but has also purged the little life that was left in the Congress party’s Telangana unit.

Elated by the performance of the BJP in the GHMC elections, Rakesh Reddy, BJP spokesperson said the exemplary performance of the party is testimony to the efficient state leadership of the party. He said, “The strategy formulated by state president Bandi Sanjay has worked well for the party. Much before elections itself, the party cadre was on the streets working for the party. The BJP success can be attributed to the party’s decision to question the status quo in the old city. The statements about NTR Garden and PV Ghat struck a chord with the people. The anti-incumbency of KCR and the governing GHMC body is also a major factor why the people felt BJP is the only party capable of challenging the TRS.”

According to Reddy, the high-pitched campaign and the presence of national leaders for a civic poll also made a major difference to the confidence the people had in the party.

“Our strength today has increased by 12 times, this has laid the ground for the 2023 Assembly elections”, said Reddy exuding confidence.

Sources in the BJP indicate that the party had expected to perform way better than the 2016 elections, but the number they had expected was around 30. Rakesh Reddy claimed that the BJP was expecting it would end up being the single largest part. He said, “If the State Election Commission had not colluded with the ruling TRS then the BJP would have surely ended up as the single largest party, in line with our predictions,” he alleged.

In 2009, the BJP had won 6 wards in the GHMC elections. However, in 2016, the BJP was in an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party and had won only four wards--RK Puram, Gowlipura, Ghansi Bazaar and Begum Bazaar.

In terms of vote share, out of 33,49,379 votes polled, the TRS had achieved a vote share of 43.85% which accounted to 14,68,618 votes. The second position was bagged by the AIMIM, with 15.85% vote share accounting to 5,30,812 votes. The Congress was in the third position with 10.40% vote share. The BJP settled in the fourth position with a vote share of 10.34%, 0.06% lesser than the Congress.

BJP senior leader N V Subhash said that the BJP’s power-packed performance has shattered TRS party’s hope for 2023. He said, “It has now been proven that the people of Telangana were against the ruling TRS and AIMIM parties and the power-packed performance of BJP has shattered the hopes of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his son and Municipal Minister KTR to retain power in the 2023 elections.

Soon after the declaration of the GHMC results on Friday, Subhash said, “People of Hyderabad have rejected KCR and his family members by reducing its strength in GHMC from 99 in 2016 to 55 in 2020, a drastic fall of 45 seats out of total 150 seats. The ruling TRS has used all its energies to capture power in the corporation, but people, who are now vexed with the family ruling, dashed its dreams.”

“This is the beginning of the fall of TRS, and BJP has paved the way for victory in the next Assembly elections”, added NV Subhash.

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