- Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls saw 46.55 per cent turnout
- Counting at 30 places with help of 8,000 personnel; cameras at each table
- Results likely by evening or at night since ballot papers were used
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The counting of votes will be recorded with security cameras installed at every table, officials have said. The results are likely to be known only in the evening or in the night since the elections used ballot papers.
The Telangana State Election Commission had decided to conduct the election with ballot papers based on the views of major political parties and the health department because of the coronavirus pandemic and taking into consideration various relevant issues, the State Election Commission or SEC had said earlier.
The elections witnessed a polarising campaign by most parties that seemed to focus more on Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and whether Hyderabad wants its name changed to Bhagyanagar than sanitation, roads and water supply.
Upbeat with its victory in the recent by-election to the Dubbak assembly constituency, the BJP flew in national leaders like Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani hoping to convince Hyderabad that a change was needed, if not now then certainly in the 2023 state polls.
The BJP's Tejasvi Surya, the Bangalore South MP, was widely criticised for divisive remarks while taking on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). He was also charged with entering the iconic Osmania University without permission in his campaign for the city civic polls.
BJP's Telangana president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar found himself in a row following his comments that his party would conduct a "surgical strike" in the old city, if necessary, to send away Rohingyas and Pakistanis after it wins the post of mayor in the polls.
The TRS campaign was led by its working president and state Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao while Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao sought to strike an emotional chord with the people, appealing to them to "save the city from divisive forces", hinting at the BJP which has staked much in the city elections.
AIMIM's Akbaruddin Owaisi in a poll campaign earned the wrath of his opponents by asking whether the "samadhis" of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and TDP founder NT Rama Rao, built on the Hussain Sagar lake bank, would be removed as he questioned the eviction drive against "poor people" residing near water bodies.
The Congress campaign was led by its state president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Working President A Revanth Reddy - both MPs - and other senior leaders. The TDP, once a major force in the state, sought to revive its fortunes highlighting the development witnessed in the city, including in the IT sector, during N Chandrababu Naidu's regime as Chief Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The GHMC was formed in April 2007 by merging 12 municipalities and eight gram panchayats with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH). Four districts fall within GHMC limits, including Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri and Sangareddy. Over the last decade, the polling percentage has been traditionally lower in the civic body elections, as compared to the state election, with hardly 45 per cent voter turnout. The voting percentage in 2009 was 43 per cent; it was 46 per cent in 2016.