Hyderabad civic polls on Dec 1; parties gear up for election

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(Eds: Updating with details) Hyderabad, Nov 17 (PTI) Elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) would be held on December 1, the Telangana State Election Commission announced on Tuesday and the ruling TRS, BJP, Congress and other parties kicked off their preparations for the crucial poll in earnest.

State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi 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, presently held by the ruling TRS, would be held from 7 AM to 6 PM on December 1.

Nominations would be accepted from Wednesday with the last day being November 20.

Scrutiny would be on November 21 and nominations can be withdrawn till November 22, the state election commissioner said.

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 body expires on February 10, 2021.

The state government has decided to continue the same reservation system which was followed in the previous elections in 2016, Parthasarathi said.

The post of Mayor is reserved for woman (General).

The ruling TRS had won the last GHMC elections, bagging 99 of the total 150 wards.

The polls to the civic body is considered prestigious as it decides who rules the Hyderabad region, the crown jewel of Telangana.

At least 20 Assembly constituencies fall under the GHMC limits.

The ruling TRS has convened a meeting of its MPs, MLAs, MLCs on Wednesday.

TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has asked the party MPs, MLAs and MLCs to attend the meeting without fail, a TRS release said.

There was no official word on the agenda for the meeting.

However, the meeting is expected to discuss the preparations for the GHMC polls.

Meanwhile, fresh from its victory in the recent by-election to Dubbak Assembly constituency, the BJP is aiming to capture the Mayor's post in the GHMC polls.

BJP National General Secretary Bhupender Yadav has been appointed as in-charge for the GHMC elections, party sources said.

Attacking the ruling TRS, BJP leader and Union MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy told reporters on Tuesday that the TRS has failed to fulfil the many promises it has made to people, including two bedroom houses for the poor.

Observing that it is BJP's responsibility to steer the city towards development, Kishan Reddy said the BJP is preparing its manifesto for GHMC elections by taking the views of prominent persons, retired officials, NGOs, experts and others.

Congress leader and former GHMC Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy would join BJP on Wednesday in the presence of Bhupender Yadav, BJP sources said.

Gearing up for the polls, state Congress president and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy has appointed senior leaders as PCC coordinators for each parliamentary constituency in GHMC limits for the polls.

Congress candidates would be finalised by Wednesday, party sources said.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP), once a major force but marginalised in Telangana now, said it would contest the GHMC polls.

The party is banking on the rapid development, especially in the IT sector, witnessed in Hyderabad during the TDP regime in undivided Andhra Pradesh, party sources said.

Actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan said his party has decided to contest the GHMC polls.PTI SJR SS PTI PTI