Counting in the hotly-contested Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls would be taken up today, an election which has already generated considerable political heat with stakes high for the ruling TRS.
Meanwhile, Telangana Congress Committee President Uttam Kumar Reddy and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Shabbir Ali were among those who were booked today for allegedly assaulting MIM party activists during the polls on Tuesday.
This comes close on the heels of police booking a case against Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP, and his brother, MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi for allegedly assaulting Ali and a BJP candidate, respectively, during the election.
The counting will begin at 3 PM and not 8 AM as planned earlier, because of repolling in 36 wards of Puranapul area of old city following “poll discrepancies” in the election that recorded an overall 45 per cent turnout.
GHMC Commissioner and election officer B Janardhan Reddy told reporters here that almost all results should be out by 8 PM.
Elaborate arrangements, including security, are being made for counting. The exercise would be videographed.
The election is seen as a major test of popularity for TRS, which is riding high after a massive victory in the Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll conducted recently.
The ruling party is not known to be a major force in the city, and in the previous GHMC poll in 2009, it had not even contested. But the party, which put up a spirited campaign, is upbeat about its prospects with even exit polls conducted by television channels projecting it to emerge as a single largest party.
Exit polls are projecting TRS to win on between 77 and 85 seats in the 150-member civic body.
The poll is also a litmus test for Asaduddin Owaisi-led MIM, Congress and the TDP-BJP combine.
GHMC covers 24 Assembly seats and the TDP-BJP combine had bagged 15 of them in the 2014 elections.