Counting is currently underway for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) municipal polls that took place earlier this week. While the BJP had taken a substantial early lead on Friday morning, the TRS now appears to have caught up.
The BJP's initial leads have now fallen short, as the TRS numbers now threaten to ruin the saffron party's dreams of capturing the civic body. The Ruling TRS and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM bagged seven wards each while the TRS was leading in about 50 seats and BJP in around 40, as per the latest trends following the counting of votes. AIMIM was leading in another 25 seats. The SEC said Congress have bagged one ward. Trends from some of the divisions were not available.
With over 34.50 lakh votes polled, and paper ballots having been used for the elections, the counting process is likely to take until late in the evening. It must be noted however that the BJP, if current trends hold, stand poised to do significantly better than in the last polls. For the uninitiated, the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti swept the elections four years ago, winning 99 of the 150 wards. The BJP, then in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party had managed a mere four seats.
Over the last few weeks the BJP has campaigned aggressively in the region, with heavyweight political leaders travelling to Hyderabad to hold rallies and address the voters. The campaigners included Home Minister Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP party chief JP Nadda as well as several Union Ministers.