Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has won the Neredmet division of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) after the counting of votes was taken up on Wednesday following Telangana High Court orders. TRS candidate Meena Upender Reddy was declared elected with a majority of 782 votes over her nearest rival Prasanna Naidu of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The counting of votes in Neredmet was taken up on December 4 along with the votes polled in all 150 divisions of GHMC. However, the result was withheld as there were 544 ballots with different markings. The TRS candidate was leading with 504 votes but as there were more ballots with different markings, the State Election Commission (SEC) withheld the result as per the directions of the High Court.
The High Court had directed SEC on December 4 that if the number of votes with different marks exceed the majority, the result should be withheld.
It was late on December 3 that the SEC had issued a circular declaring ballot papers with distinguishing marks instead of the arrow cross-mark (Swastik) as valid in the GHMC elections.
As polling officers in some polling stations had provided a distinguishing mark instead of the arrow cross-mark for marking on the ballot paper to the voters to cast their vote, the SEC said that all such votes should be treated valid.
However, on a house motion moved by the BJP on Friday, the High Court suspended the circular. It had directed that ballots with markings other than the arrow cross-mark be treated separately and if the number of such votes is not higher than the majority, the SEC may declare results, but if the number is more than the majority, the results will be subject to court's final orders in the matter.
The court on December 7 directed that the SEC can treat all the votes with different marks too, as valid. It said since the intention of voters was clear, the votes should be treated as valid.
The court dismissed the petition of BJP legal cell in-charge Antony Reddy, who sought direction to the SEC to not count ballots with marks other than 'Swastik'.
With the victory in Neredmet, TRS' tally in GHMC has gone up to 56. BJP won 48 seats, MIM 44 and Congress two.