Elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will be held on December 1. The counting of votes for the poll would be taken up on December 4. There are 150 wards in all in the corporation, and the mayor’s post is reserved for a woman this time. The GHMC is in charge of the civic administration and infrastructure of Hyderabad. In the 2016 elections, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had won 44 seats. The TRS had pocketed 99 seats while the BJP secured just 4 seats. The TDP and Congress won two seats each.
Overview of the civic body
GHMC was formed on April 16, 2007, by merging 12 municipalities and 8 gram panchayats with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH).
Four districts now fall within GHMC limits – Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal–Malkajgiri, and Sangareddy. These four districts are further divided into six zones, 30 circles and 150 municipal wards.
Only ballot paper:
Elections would be conducted with the ballot papers in view of Covid-19 pandemic, state Election Commission officials told India TV. They said that voters will have to repeatedly press buttons on EVMs and it could increase the risk. When elections are conducted with ballot papers, the risk is minimised significantly.
The state Election Commission said that the decision was taken after taking all the political parties onboard. The previous GHMC polls were too conducted with the ballot papers. However, EVMs were used in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi had earlier said it has been decided to conduct the polls with ballot papers after obtaining the views of major political parties and the health department in view of COVID-19 pandemic and considering various relevant issues.
Polling for the 150-member GHMC would be held from 7 AM to 6 PM on December 1. The polling time has been extended by an hour in view of the pandemic situation. . Additionally, elderly persons will be taken to polling stations with PPE kits after 6 or 7 p.m. to exercise their franchise.
Last day to file nomination was November 20. Withdrawl of nomination on November 22.
Re-polling, if necessary, would be held on December 3 and the counting of votes would be taken up on the next day.
The term of the present council expires on February 10, 2021.
Code of conduct:
Candidates cannot spend more than Rs 5 lakh towards election expenditure. An exception to this model code of conduct is the distribution of financial aid of Rs 10,000 as a calamity relief to rain-affected families in the city by the GHMC. The distribution is to be done online and the amount is to be transferred to beneficiaries’ accounts.
TSEC has also included in their hand book, extensive guidelines on ‘corrupt practices and electoral offences’.
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Moyor post reserved for woman (General)
The state government has decided to continue the same reservation system, which was followed in the previous elections in 2016. The ruling TRS had won the last GHMC elections, bagging 99 of the total 150 wards. At least 20 assembly constituencies fall under the GHMC limits.
The final electoral rolls have been published and over 74 lakh voters will be exercising their franchise on the polling day.
Over 48,000 polling personnel will be deployed, besides flying squads, micro observers, static surveillance teams and others will also be monitoring the proceedings.
Over 2700 polling stations have been identified as sensitive, hyper-sensitive and critical stations.
Parties in the GHMC Elections fray
The election process will be completed 70 days prior to the dissolution of the current GHMC body. In addition to independent candidates, both national and regional parties are in the thick of the contest, with 1122 candidates in all contesting the polls.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), Communist Party of India (CPI), AIMIM Inquilab, Marxist Communist Party of India (United) (MCPIU), Welfare Party of India (WPI), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Bahujan Mukti Party (BMP), India Praja Bandhu Party (IPBP), Indian People’s Congress (IPC), and HINDJP are some of the multi-parties in the battle-royal for the upcoming civic body elections.