The ruling TRS in Telangana pulled off a spectacular victory and coasted to majority in the prestigious Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections decimating the TDP-BJP alliance and the Congress.
From not even contesting the last GHMC polls in 2009, the TRS led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) bagged 96 seats in the 150-member house and was leading in four divisions tonight.
In what turned out to be a two-horse race, Hyderabad Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM bagged 36 divisions, and was leading in four, trying to match its 2009 performance of 43 seats.
MIM in 2009 had shared power with the Congress which had in its kitty 55 seats.
“It has always been a fractured verdict (in Hyderabad). I thank the people, TRS leaders and workers for this victory. We should not have arrogance. We should move ahead with humility,” KCR told reporters tonight.
It was in fact a humiliating defeat for the TDP-BJP alliance that together had 50 corporators fighting separately in 2009 and the Congress which had to be content with single digit numbers in the February two elections, where the stakes were high coming as it did first time after the formation of Telangana in 2014.
BJP won three seats and TDP and Congress won one each. TRS, which had in 2014 bagged a mere three Assembly seats of the total 24 that come under the civic body’s limits, had put up a spirited campaign to shrug off the tag that it’s not a big force to reckon with in the city.
“Basically, our work is reaching the people...”, TRS leader and KCR’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha, who is also Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad, said.
“I would say it’s only our Chief Minister’s vision and his dedication to make sure whatever his policies are...they reach the people”, she said.
Not contesting the previous GHMC polls in 2009 was a strategic decision of Rao, Kavitha said.
“People had many apprehensions (then)... what will happen if Telangana comes (becomes a reality)... what will be security situation...what would be the real estate situation in Hyderabad and what kind of person KCR would be”.
Kavitha said people had then seen KCR as leader of agitation spearheading demand for statehood for Telangana and they were not sure about him as an administrator.
The opposition TDP-BJP leaders said they respect people’s verdict with humility.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who also campaigned for the TDP-BJP candidates in the GHMC elections, hoped that those elected to office should work for people’s welfare.
Telangana TDP president L Ramana said TDP accepts people’s verdict and continues to work for the people whether it won or lost the election.