As the campaign heats up for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has confirmed that his party will not ally with the TRS. While TRS and AIMIM are considered friendly parties, Owaisi's remark on Sunday hinted at a frayed relations between the two parties over the GHMC elections.
Owaisi said that there will be no alliance with TRS in the upcoming polls and claimed that power minister who belongs to TRS had falsely said that AIMIM leaders met PM Modi. Speaking to media, Owaisi also said that Congress had made similar allegations against AIMIM after Bihar elections. He also slammed the BJP and said that the party is trying to give communal colour to the polls, and asked about the financial aid that Centre has given to Hyderabad post-2019.
"MIM works in Telangana all through the year, our way to work here is different from Congress, BJP, and TRS. These parties are active only during elections, I believe that the work that our corporators have done in Hyderabad, we will get our prize. There is no alliance with TRS here in GHMC polls. I am shocked to hear that TRS Power Minister is accusing us of meeting Modi, Congress says the same, BJP says something about us. There is a famous saying in Hyderabad Garib Ki Joru sabki bhabi...that is the situation. We will be in this Muqabala, and I believe that we will win." In a dig at the criticism of being a "B Party" of BJP, Owaisi said that he is not aware if KCR will call "B party" to be a part of the anti-BJP conclave.
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.
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. 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 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.