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Political parties begin campaigning for GHMC polls

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Hyderabad: Campaigning for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections has kicked off even before the notification for the polls is issued as top leaders of various political parties are criss-crossing the city.

TRS, led by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has taken a lead over its rivals with hoardings highlighting the state government’s schemes and programmes being installed across the city.

Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao, son of K Chandrasekhar Rao, and other ministers have been undertaking visits to residential localities in the city for different development programmes.

The elections are expected to be held in coming weeks this month though a formal schedule is yet to be out.

Though TRS has established a firm hold on Telangana politics, it has not been known to be a major force in Hyderabad which has a population of about 60 lakhs. TRS did not contest the last GHMC polls in 2009.

The IT and Panchayat Raj Minister also sought to reach out to the natives of Seemandhra region in Hyderabad amid allegations by the opposition that the TRS insulted and intimidated them in the past.

Saying that harsh comments have been made by the both sides during the separate statehood agitation, Rama Rao has observed that no unwanted incidents have taken place since the formation of Telangana.

The GHMC elections assumes significance in view of the nature and size of the city.

There are 24 Assembly segments falling under the GHMC limits. There have been allegations that the number of voters exceeded the population in the city and the final electoral rolls are yet to be announced.

The TDP-BJP alliance, which had won 15 assembly seats in the last Assembly elections, is keen on repeating its good show in the polls.

For TDP, though some of its MLAs have since shifted loyalty to the ruling TRS, the Chandrababu Naidu-led party is determined to prove that it is still a major force to reckon with in Hyderabad.

Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari addressed a public meeting here in favour of the BJP-TDP alliance earlier this week, while another Central minister Hansraj Ahir took part in canvassing today.

“TRS leaders are doing a ‘puja’ of Nizam and put up his photos and we are seeking votes by having the photos of Sardar Patel. If TRS is working with such people (MIM) who talked about merging with Pakistan during the Nizam period, we have to seek votes in the name of patriotism,” Ahir said while addressing an event here.

–PTI

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