With the GHMC elections scheduled to be held on February 2nd, the city is teeming with canvassing vans and posters. Aspiring contestants addressing gatherings and heading rallies has become an everyday sight. As common with every election season, this time too a lot of promise-making and calumny has been witnessed in the election theatre. What’s Up Hyderabad brings you a short summary of what each party has said and what their strategy looks like in the forthcoming elections.
After suffering a humiliating defeat on a national level in the 2014 General elections, it is no surprise the reputation of the congress party has taken a huge dig in the minds of Hyderabadis. The former ruling party whose candidate shared the mayor’s seat with MIM’s Majid Hussain during the last term seem to be struggling during this year’s GHMC elections.
Desperate to capitalize on the Muslim vote bank (and also as a move of revenge against former ally MIM) congress is seen amplifying it’s efforts in the old-city areas.
With the hand symbol being seen on posters, banners and fliers in almost every locality it is no surprise that the congress seems to be working really hard. Their biggest promise is to put an end to intolerance and the rising atmosphere of communalism which has begun to loom over the city of Hyderabad. The congress party claims that it deserves credit for development this city has seen before the reign of the TRS government and lays claim to most of the bridges and flyovers that were built over the last 10 years. The RGI airport at shamshabad too has appeared in their speeches many a times. Congress party assures the citizens of hyderabad that they will see a peaceful city in their rule(if elected to power).
But with Rahul Gandhi meme’s doing the rounds in social media, looks like congress will have to work a little extra-hard to make a mark in this year’s GHMC elections.
Already the ruling party in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, a win in the GMHC lections would put the TDP in the perfect position to oppose the moves of it’s archenemy TRS and make a strong base in the Telangana region for the next Loksabha polls.
TDP’s claims include laying the foundations of making Hyderabad an IT Hub during the rule of Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu. Making Hyderabad into the GHMC was also a plan of the TDP government. Most of the growth Hyderabad has seen in the last 10-15 years was based on the plans laid by the Chandra Babu Naidu government and thus, the TDP claims it has the vision to take Hyderabad even further.
The party’s young stalwart, Nara Lokesh is spearheading the TDP’s campaign in the city and is seen active on twitter too, jabbing with TRS leader K. Taraka Rama Rao, the current IT and Panchayat Raj A win in this election would definitely put the TDP in a comfortable position for the next few years.
The ruling party of the state and undoubtedly the favourite in the Telangana population, the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi has a relatively weak base in the city’s capital. Wining only two MLA seats in the 2014 General elections, the GHMC elections presents a golden opportunity to the TRS to establish a strong base in the state’s capital.
If the efforts being made by the party is any indicator, then the TRS seems to be on all-out attack with TRS party advertisements donning almost every Hoarding and bill-board in the city. According to reports, the party has booked almost 1000 of the 1350 metro pillars in the city for the sake of election advertisements
Spearheading the TRS attack is Mr.K Tarakarama Rao, the current IT and panchayat raj minister who along with his sister Kalvakuntla Kavitha, MP of Nizamabad and cousin T.Harish Rao, minister of irrigation has left no stone unturned in his campaigning efforts. Mr.KTR also went as far as to say that he would resign from politics if TRS loses the GHMC election.
Although the chief proponent in the state separation movement, the TRS party has been trying to attract ‘settler votes’ in the city. The TRS party has highlighted the fact that since the state separation, there haven’t been any major incidents of violence or undue discrimination against the Andhra people.
Also brought into focus is the lack of power cuts in the last 15-16 months that the party has remained in power. The TRS party also takes major credit for the Metro rail plan and is confident that citizens of Hyderabad have been living comfortably under the TRS rule.
A loss in the GHMC Elections however would be a huge embarrassment to the party as it would clearly signal the weak influence and control the TRS government has in the capital city.
Riding on the Modi factor, the BJP hopes to have a good result in the forthcoming GHMC elections. However, the case of Rohit Vemula’s suicide at the Hyderabad Central University did have a drastic effect on their vote bank with Dalits and other backward categories lashing out against the BJP government.
In their poll-promises the BJP projects the growth-path charted out by prime minister Narendra Modi and ensures a more developed and safe Hyderabad for all.
Owing to the strong muslim vote-bank present at Hyderabad, their chances at winning this election hinge on how well the BJP manages to influence it’s Hindu vote-bank. However, with issues like intolerance, rising instances of communalism and other sensitive issues dogging the BJP, looks like the party wil have to work extra-hard to make a mark in the GHMC.
Having won the Hyderabad MP seat every single time since 1984, it can be easily stated that the MIM as an unwavering influence in its home ground. With a strong muslim vote bank to fall upon, the MIM is naturally in a comfortable position when it comes to elections In the GHMC area.
But the MIM camp seems to be working unusually hard this year. Asaduddin Owaisi, the party leader and MP from Hyderabad is seen multiple rallies and holding gatherings almost daily at Darussalam, the party HQ. So intense are Asaduddin Owaisi’s efforts that his Facebook page followers receive at least one notification daily saying Asaduddin Owaisi is Live. Perhaps the party wants to expand it’s reach this year or fears competiton from the TRS which to a certain extent has managed to woo the muslim vote-bank. Or perhaps they fear the efforts of the congress party which claims that MIM leaders have exploited the people and promises a better governance in the Muslim areas.
Last year, the congress party and MIM had formed an alliance. If the MIM’s strategy is any indicator…then this year, the Majlis is likely to form an alliance with the TRS government. A strategy that works in favour of both sides.
So that’s my take on the ideology of various parties contesting the 2016 GHMC elections. Feel something’s not right? Noticed a few things going unmentioned? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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