Even as the BJP is on a blitzkrieg campaign for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has exuded confidence in the victory of TRS. Addressing a joint meeting of TRS MLAs, MPs and MLCs in the Telangana Bhavan on Thursday evening, Rao pitched his idea of an anti-BJP and anti-Congress front and said that people will choose if they want to live in communal harmony or communal clashes. This was in response to the pitch by the state unit president of the BJP Bandi Sanjay Kumar who said that GHMC elections this year will be between patriots and traitors and highlighted the saffron party's commitment towards the rights of Hindus.
KCR said, "All surveys have predicted that the TRS will win 100 divisions. At one point, some said the TRS chapter was closed. But we bounced back and shot down the opponents. TRS is a formidable political force in the country, a well-wisher and protector of Telangana. We have been winning election after election. We will also win in the GHMC elections."
The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) announced that 150 GHMC divisions will go to polls on December 1 and the counting of votes will be done on December 4. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the polling time has been extended by one hour, i.e., from 7 am to 6 pm. The current term of the GHMC council ends in February 2021 and in the 2016 elections, AIMIM won 44 seats, TRS won 99. BJP won 4 seats, Congress won 2 and TDP won one seat.
The saffron party is eyeing expanding down south - the 2021 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. While in Tamil Nadu, BJP is in alliance with the AIADMK and its main aim is to improve its own performance by making inroads in the state that is suffering a vacuum due to demise of Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi, it has shifted gears towards Telangana after the increased vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and victory in recently concluded bypoll for Dubbak assembly seat. BJP's national general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who steered the NDA victory in Bihar, has now been sent to Hyderabad to focus on the Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. Other leaders in the team are Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar, Maharashtra BJP leader Ashish Shelar, Gujarat leader Pradeep Singh Waghela, and Karnataka MLA Satish Reddy.
In a big political development, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has called a meeting of non-BJP leaders and parties in December. Sources said that an invitation for the closed-door meeting has been sent to NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Trinamool's Mamata Banerjee, JDS chief Kumaraswamy, Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prakash Singh Badal, BJD's Naveen Patnaik and DMK's Stalin. Sources said that many other political parties can take part in the proposed meeting and the leaders are set to discuss a strategy to form an anti-BJP platform. It is unclear if Congress has been called. This comes at a time when BJP along with its ally JDU has registered another poll victory in Bihar and has won several bypolls including the sole bypoll in Telangana, at Dubbak. While a leadership crisis is haunting the Congress once again with its allies blaming the grand-old party for poor performance, the BJP has also lost its allies - SAD and Shiv Sena - in the recent past.