Highlights

  • Will the opposition be able to stop the TRS juggernaut from rolling in urban local bodies?
  • Elections to decide who will be the alternative for TRS in 2023 Assembly polls —Congress or BJP?

Hyderabad: Telangana State Election Commission issued the schedule for holding elections for municipalities and municipal corporations in Telangana on Monday, December 23. TSEC will conduct the polls to find representatives for 120 municipalities and ten municipal corporations. As per the schedule, they will issue the election notification on January 7, the polling on January 22, and they will declare the results on January 25.

Election Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect with the announcement of the schedule, stated the State Election Commission on Monday. Once these elections are done, Telangana will become “elections-free” for the next four years until Assembly polls in December 2023.

TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced in Legislative Assembly in June this year that he wants to complete all elections in 2019. He plans to focus on offering “real governance” to people of Telangana for the next four years. He added that frequent elections to various bodies hampered development activities due to subsequent enforcement of model code of conduct.

Soon after coming to power for a second term in Telangana, KCR had decided to complete all polls within a year. To achieve this, he held elections for Gram Panchayats in January this year, followed by Lok Sabha polls in May and Zilla Parishad/Mandal Parishad polls in June.

KCR had initially planned to finish the leftover municipal polls by August 15 this year. However, a few cases registered with the High Court against delimitation of wards and reservations delayed the plan. With HC giving its nod for conducting municipal polls recently, KCR has decided to complete polls in January of 2020.

TRS has shown its dominance in all elections held in Telangana since the formation of the new state in 2014 by wiping out opposition parties. However, it suffered a minor setback in Lok Sabha polls in May this year by losing four seats to BJP and three seats to Congress. One the other hand, they made a clean sweep of Gram Panchayat and Zilla/Mandal Parishad elections.

The big question now is will the opposition parties be able to stop the TRS juggernaut fat the urban local bodies’ elections. The main struggle in municipal polls will be between TRS, Congress, and BJP. These elections are likely to decide who will emerge as the main opposition or alternative to TRS in Telangana in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls.

The BJP is trying hard to emerge as an alternative to TRS via replacing Congress by winning significant seats in municipal polls. However, BJP lacks leaders and cadre in the majority of the municipalities in Telangana.

On the other hand, for Congress, it will be a do-or-die battle. If it fails to bag some of the municipalities, it will be the end of the road for the grand old party in Telangana. TRS has already wiped out Congress by engineering defection of the latter’s MLAs and MLCs to join their cadre.

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