One major consequence of the results is that TRS cannot retain the mayor post, reserved for women this time, without the support of AIMIM, its indirect ally.

The ruling TRS has been stopped from a win thanks to a record surge of the BJP in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections for which results were announced on Friday. Of the 150 divisions that went to polls on 1 December, TRS won 55, while BJP bagged 48, followed by AIMIM with 42 and Congress 2. The result of one more division is pending due to legal issues.
One major consequence of the results is that TRS cannot retain the mayor post–reserved for women this time–without the support of AIMIM, its indirect ally. Including the 52 ex-officio members–MPs, MLAs and MLCs–the total strength of GHMC will be 202 and any party to win the mayor post shall have 102. TRS has 40 ex-officio members.
As TRS doesn’t have the magic number to win the mayor and deputy posts, it has to take the direct or indirect help of AIMIM to retain them. It is to be seen if AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will give unconditional support to TRS or puts any conditions for power sharing. Any cooperation between the two parties might have given political mileage to BJP, which fought them together.
AIMIM got most divisions from the Old City of Hyderabad—Chandrayangutta, Charminar, Yakutpura, Nampally, Karwan, Malakpet and Bahadurpura—where it has MLAs. TRS won from the posh areas, including the IT corridor-Jubilee Hills, Seri Limgampally, Kutbullapur and Kukatpally, while the BJP won divisions from segments B Nagar, Amberpet, Musheerabad, Maheswaram, Goshamahal and Secunderabad Cantonment, which are mostly populated by middle classes and flood-affected colonies.
The significance of the BJP’s impressive performance in GHMC elections is evident from a telephonic talk Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Telangana party president and MP Bandi Sanjay a day after the polling and the greeting messages of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president J.P. Nadda after counting of votes.
BJP national general secretary and in-charge of GHMC polls in a statement termed the results as a shocker to TRS and CM KCR. “I am sure that BJP would win the next Assembly elections to be held in three years from now,” said Yadav. Similar views were expressed by Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy and BJP OBC Morcha president K. Laxman.
BJP leaders expected a decent show by their candidates in the GHMC where they got only 4 divisions in 2016. The present results are beyond their expectations. The gap between the vote share of BJP (35.56%) and TRS (35.81%) is very narrow. In terms of numbers, TRS got 12, 04,167 votes, while the BJP got 11, 95,711–just 8,456 votes difference.
AIMIM which won 44 and Congress which got 2 divisions in 2016 retain the same numbers this time too. The BJP, which secured just 10% votes five years ago, surged by 25% of vote share, which is unprecedented by the party in the south. AIMIM got 18.67% and Congress had to put up with 6.67% votes. TRS vote share declined by 8% from 42% in 2016. These numbers point to a new reality–BJP has emerged as the principal challenger to TRS and claimant to power in 2023 Assembly elections and Congress has been relegated to a poor fourth slot, possibly triggering an exodus from it in the coming days. In a recent by-election to the Dubbaka Assembly seat, the BJP won by a slender margin of 1,100 votes, but Congress lost its deposit. TRS working president and Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) conceded his party defeat in a late night press meet on Friday and admitted that the results were disappointing to the leadership. He, like in the case of the Dubbaka defeat, said that his party would introspect on the reasons which led to the poor show in GHMC elections.
KCR may hold a formal review meeting on the results soon, but according to sources, he is clueless on why TRS has been rejected by the city voters so drastically and BJP could increase its votes and seats to steeply. In fact, the TRS government has spent around Rs 650 crore on the flood relief to 6.50 lakh affected families at the rate of Rs 10,000 each in October. Besides, the party has claimed that the government has spent Rs 67,000 crore in Hyderabad city in the last five years and promised projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore more in the coming years. BJP, on the other hand, focused its attention on the misrule of TRS and the “family dominated politics of KCR”. BJP also targeted TRS alliance with AIMIM and their “communal understanding” in Telangana. Interestingly, the BJP won the divisions in 14 out of the total 23 Assembly segments under the GHMC limits. AIMIM won its seven Assembly segments and TRS could retain only two segments.
BJP is mightily pleased at its back-to-back impressive shows in the Dubbaka by-election and GHMC polls and is now readying for by-election to the Nagarjunasagar Assembly seat which is necessitated by the demise of TRS MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah (died of Covid-19 this week). Besides, the party is gearing up for two MLC elections and polls to Warangal Municipal Corporation soon.