The voting for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls started concluded on Tuesday (December 1). The political fate of 1,122 candidates in 150 divisions in GHMC have now been sealed in ballot boxes. Elaborate arrangements were made to conduct the polls in a free and fair manner. The mayor's post is reserved for a woman this time.
The Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) had made elaborate arrangements for the balloting process by deploying 48,000 (including reserve) polling personnel and 52,500 strong police force. The Commission had decided to conduct the election with ballot papers after obtaining the views of major political parties, Health department in view of COVID-19 and taking into consideration various relevant issues.
Meanwhile, Polling for the 26th division of Old Malakpet was stopped due to alleged discrepancies. Repolling will be conducted in this division on December 3. The decision to stop the polling in Malakpet was taken following a complaint from CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy, who alleged that his party symbol was replaced with another symbol on the ballot paper.
Addressing the media, Venkat Reddy said, “Instead of sickle and hammer, we got axe and sickle as the symbol. This is a testimony to the negligence of the Election Eommission. This is atrocious. The official who did this should be investigated and appropriate action should be taken against him. We condemn such a blunder and demand that the polling should be stopped and re-polling should be conducted.”
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In the Hyderabad city commissionerate, 817 new polling stations have been set up as compared to 2016. There are 2,146 normal polling stations, 1,517 sensitive polling stations and 167 hypersensitive polling stations. Anjani Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad city while speaking on GHMC elections stated, "We have made all security arrangements with 22,000 policemen for GHMC elections. We have briefed the police personnel four times. We have set up tight police security in all areas as per State Election Commission guidelines."
A total of 1,122 candidates are in the fray. Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is contesting all seats, BJP has fielded candidates in 149 divisions, Congress in 146, TDP in 106, MIM in 51, CPI in 17 and CPI-M in 12 divisions.
Other recognized parties have fielded 76 candidates while 415 independents are also testing their political fortunes.
The high-decibel campaign for GHMC ended on Sunday. The campaign saw leaders of BJP, TRS, AIMIM and other parties launching bitter attacks on each other. Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is eyeing to repeat its 2016 performance while the BJP is determined to defeat TRS. The Congress and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are also contesting the polls on their own.