Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, November 17
The much-awaited elections for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will be held on December 1 and counting of votes will be done on December 4.
Announcing this on Tuesday, State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi said the elections will be conducted using ballot papers as many political parties wanted the use of ballot papers over electronic voting machines (EVMs) due to different litigations and also as per Supreme Court orders.
The GHMC polls hold special significance in Telangana as the area is spread across The GHMC area covers 650 square kilometres and is spread over four districts—Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal–Malkajgiri and Sangareddy. The GHMC polls become mini polls as these reflect the mood of the voters in the state as at least 20 assembly constituencies fall under the GHMC limits.
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, so the post of Mayor is reserved for woman (General).
The State Election Commissioner said that the candidates could file their nominations from 11 am onwards on Wednesday (November 18) and scrutiny of nominations will be done November 21. Last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 22 and the list of contesting candidates will be published on the same day after 3 pm.
The GHMC has 150 divisions and the polls are going to see a direct contest between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), BJP, Congress and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). During the previous elections, the TRS had won 99 seats in the previous elections and the AIMIM had won 44, leaving only six for other parties. Interestingly the position of the Mayor would be reserved for a woman.
The State Election Commissioner said that 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 and arrangements are being made accordingly. Parthasarathi said 25,000 to 30, 000 police personnel will also be deployed.