Warangal: Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) election has turned out to be a super spreader event in the erstwhile district. COVID cases have reached a dangerous proportion in Warangal district following the conduct of GWMC polls.
It is to recall that, The state election commission while it announced the election dates, directed political parties and its candidates in the fray to adhere to Covid-19 protocol, but all the directions were thrown to the wind. Election campaigning was carried out with zero regard to physical distancing, videos and pictures stand as evidence. The notification for the election was issued on April 16 and the exercise continued till May 3 when results were declared.
For ten days, hundreds of activists conducted election campaigns in 66 divisions of Greater Warangal. It is pertinent to note that the elections were scheduled amid the ferocious second wave. Telangana's BJP President and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Malkajgiri parliamentarian A Revanth Reddy and several senior TRS leaders including ministers held campaigns in Warangal leaving behind basic covid norms.
No surprise, Eight newly elected Corporators including GWMC Commissioner Pamela Satpathy have tested positive. Besides, several municipal corporation officials, a large number of party activists, and even their family members have also tested positive.
According to official figures, the maximum number of COVID positive cases in March did not exceed 15. No deaths were reported. On March 1, 61 RTPCR and 2398 rapid antigen tests were conducted, and only 8 positive cases were reported.
However, in April, the scene has reversed. The number of positive cases has increased from tens to hundreds as electioneering for GWMC elections continued. On April 26, 3893 tests were conducted and 358 tested positive. On April 27, 4700 people were tested and 633 turned out to be positive. Six people died.
On May 1, 2430 tests were conducted and 208 positive cases came back positive. Eight people died of the virus. Of the 1654 tests conducted on May 7, 307 were positive and 15 people died. On May 8, 2456 tests were conducted and 345 were found to be positive and 12 died. Of the 3004 people tested on May 9, 378 came back positive and 14 died.
TRS women leadership to usher change in GWMC
The TRS leadership has chosen women to lead the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) after the party's thumping victory in the recent civic elections. Gundu Sudharani, a corporator from the 29th division, has been elected unanimously as the mayor of the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) here on Friday. Similarly, Rizwana Shameem, corporator from the 36th division, has been unanimously chosen as the deputy mayor.
As many as 66 newly elected corporators took oath during the ceremony held in the open space behind the GWMC head office in Warangal. Eight corporator-elects who are under home isolation took oath as corporators virtually.
While the TRS won 48 of the 66 divisions, the BJP won 10, the Congress four, AIFB one and the remaining three were bagged by independent candidates.
Prior to the oath-taking ceremony, ministers and election observers Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Gangula Kamalakar and Indrakaran Reddy convened a meeting with all the elected TRS corporators at Hanamkonda and declared the names of the chosen candidates. All corporators were asked to adhere to the TRS party leadership's decision and support these candidates. Accordingly, no other names were proposed for the mayor and deputy mayor posts, making the election unanimous.
Gundu Sudharani is currently holding the position of state president of the TRS women's wing. She also served as Women's Cooperative Finance Corporation chairman until recently. The 57-year-old completed her MA in Public Administration and belongs to the Padmashali community. She made her mark after she was chosen for the Upper House by TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu in 2010 when she was a corporator. Whilst holding the position, she joined the TRS in November 2015.
Her daughter-in-law, Gundu Ashritha Reddy, served as a corporator in the previous GWMC governing body from the 24th division. Sudharani's spouse Prabhakar owns a hotel in Hanamkonda. Sudharani previously served as the opposition floor leader for TDP between 2005 and 2010. She was also the board member of TTD between 2002 and 2004.
Later in the day, the elected representatives assumed their respective offices and promised to dedicate themselves to the all-round development of Greater Warangal.