TRS in a quandary on bagging GHMC mayor post

Hyderabad: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has found itself in a tight spot, as it is just a few steps short in claiming the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) mayor post. TRS leaders from the city said that the party will not seek help from the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), to avoid giving more ammunition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

In the GHMC elections, out of the total 150 wards, the TRS won 56, the BJP 48, AIMIM 44 and the Congress two. However, there are also 49 ex-officio members (MLAs, MPs and MLCs in the GHMC area), who also participate in the mayoral election. Within that, the TRS is reported to have 31 votes, the AIMIM 10, BJP 3 and the Congress 1. The mayoral election will be held in February. 

“We will not ask the MIM for any support for sure. To win the mayoral position, we need less than a dozen votes. Both the BJP and the AIMIM have got votes based on religion, but the allegation of us being a ‘Muslim party’ is thrown at us. 

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Even then we are five short. The BJP at the Centre did not do anything for flood relief as well, and still questioned us,” said a TRS leader from Hyderabad, who did not want to be quoted.   

In the run up to the GHMC polls, the BJP ran an aggressive Hindutva campaign, bringing in leaders like union home minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, whose campaigns drew flak from various corners. Adityanath, in his speeches, also gave a call asking why Hyderabad cannot be renamed to “Bhagyanagar”.

In the previous GHMC elections, the TRS won 99 seats and the AIMIM 44, leaving the Congress and BJP with scraps. It essentially allowed the TRS to have its own mayor and deputy mayor without any hiccups. In the run up to the 2020 polls, TRS working president and state IT minister even said that his party and the AIMIM are not “friendly” parties, and ruled out any alliance. 

“The TRS is in a very tricky situation, but they will eventually figure out a way. The only option left for them would be to take indirect support from the AIMIM. Even then the BJP will say that there is an indirect understanding between AIMIM and the TRS. KCR is a smart politician,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

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