By Abdul Sattar
Hyderabad: Today the GHMC election results for Hyderabad have been declared. Although there was a polling percentage just over 36%, considering the Covid-19 precautions which the people might have taken to step out of their houses. But, clearly TRS has won the maximum seats to emerge as the winner and would have its mayor positioned for the city. Although it was a victory for the TRS, but it’s not as convincing as, it would have liked to. Since it lost 39 of its valuable seats to the BJP, which was one less to 100 in the 2016 GHMC elections.
BJP on the other hand, coming from 4 seats, has made a strong and convincing inroad into Hyderabad and the Telangana state, and are making their presence felt by bagging 40 more seats. Which is an absolute physiological and morale boosting victory over the TRS. While they don’t have any chance to form a hung to come to power, since AIMIM is a clear rival to the BJP. But BJP has showed that, it is their first advance towards their southward’s inroad journey.
One of the reasons why the BJP has grabbed the seats, is because of the popular notion of TRS being a secular party is fading away as more and more Hindus are inclined towards voting for a Nationalist party, rather than a Secular party. Whom they regard, as their own people and can have a strong Hindu base in Hyderabad, which traditionally has been a land where there has been a strong Muslim presence since centuries.
Development is another aspect, which the TRS has neglected in the last two years after its staggering victory, as it took the other parties lightly, especially the BJP, whom they thought is not potent enough after just grabbing four seats last year. Although, KCR himself made a statement after the victory of being humble and not to take it lightly the confidence and trust which the Telangana public has shown; But their leaders look frail and lack dynamism which is required for the in-state politics. Many of the public issues related to sanitation, drainage, roads and health have been utterly neglected in certain parish of the city, while giving preference to some.
BJP on the other hand has cashed on the Hindu emotions very well. by installing controversial, provocative leaders, known for making hate speeches to appeal certain sections of the Hindu communities. like the old settled business class Marwaris, Jains, Sindhis and Punjabis who have a strong presence in many parts of Hyderabad. Added to that there has been an influx of immigrant classes of workers and IT engineers, from surrounding borders of Maharashtra, Karnataka, UP, Bihar and Odisha who have come down to work, and have an overwhelming fondness towards the BJP. The Yogi and Amit shah rally just before the election has certainly paved a great potential for them, from appeasing to change the name of Hyderabad city to Bhagyanagar and making a visit to the controversial site of Bhagya Laxmi temple a must visit, and rhetoric to end the Nizam culture here, has really come of well.
Then there are the local Telanganites, who are a bit finicky, and are largely dependent on local leaders to support them on mundane issue. Here money and groundwork to resolve public issues matter a lot and which is the deciding factor for them to win the Municipal Corporator seats. Any leader who does well and take care of the needs of these small Bastis, emerges out as the winner. There could be a lot of reasons, why the BJP has done quite well to place their candidates against the TRS in these areas and to bag their seats.
The Telugu Desham and the Congress factor contributing to the GHMC elections was never a case, since both Telegu Desham and INC do not have enough left in them to show any claws which would intimidate their rivals. The Coming elections, we could see great turnarounds, lest TRS quickly realizes its mistakes committed, in the last five years and try to amend them by quickly coming up with a strategy. Although AIMIM will play a crucial role in deciding, who is going to be the king; But it may just be helpless, if BJP eats up few more TRS seats in the next GHMC elections. That, we need to wait and see.
The columnist hold an MSc in Engineering from UK, and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org