Counting of votes for the high-pitched Hyderabad civic election began from 8 a.m. onwards on Friday.
Despite the bitterly fought and divisive campaigns by political parties, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls reported an unimpressive 46.55 per cent turnout on December 1.
The Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) has made extensive arrangements for the counting that will take place at 30 places with the help of over 8,000 personnel. The vote counting process will be recoded with security cameras that are installed at every table.
The Telangana SEC had decided to conduct the polls with ballot papers and postal ballots were allowed. The results are likely to be known only in the evening or in the night.
In this civic body polls, a total of 1,122 candidates are contesting across 150 divisions that are spread over four districts. The fates of the candidates will be decided by over 74 lakh eligible voters who will take part in this intensely fought civic polls between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is trying to make inroads in the southern state.
The high voltage election campaign saw issues beyond basic civic infrastructure to whether Hyderabad name could be changed to Bhagyanagar, which UP CM Adityanath said at an election rally.
The BJP which is upbeat with its victory in the recent by-election to the Dubbak assembly constituency, had flew in national leaders like Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda and UP CM Yogi Adityanath who have campaigned in this polls.
South MP Tejasvi Surya also made divisive remarks while taking on the TRS and the AIMIM. He has been charged for entering the Osmania University without permission in his campaign for the city civic polls.
In the last GHMC elections in February 2016, ruling TRS had won 99 seats, whereas AIMIM had won 44 seats, BJP got four, Congress won two and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won one seat.
The GHMC was formed by merging 12 municipalities and eight gram panchayats with Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) in 2007.