Hyderabad GHMC polls results live: Telangana HC suspends SEC circular on validating ballot papers
Counting of votes in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections conducted on December 1 kicked off on Friday amidst tight security. The poll, which saw fierce campaigning by the ruling TRS, BJP, and Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), saw a voter turnout of 46.55%.
The Hyderabad Mayor post is reserved for women for the next two terms.
While political parties are pretty clear about where they stand and the two major parties — Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — don’t expect any serious reversal of their estimates made after polling, the latter approached the campaign with an eye on the upcoming 2023 State election, flying in top leaders like Amit Shah, J.P Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani.
Here are the latest updates:
‘HC judgement not have any impact in counting’
SEC sources say suspension of Dec. 3 circular by the High Court will not have any impact on the counting process.
Result could be delayed only if the number of votes polled (ballots) with other than cross-arrows (swastik) mark is higher than the majority secured by a candidate with ballots not in question. – B. Chandrashekar
What made SEC issue late night circular, asks Revanth Reddy
Congress working president and MP A. Revanth Reddy accused the SEC of undermining the dignity of the position.
He said that it is proved yet again that State Election Commissioner is dancing to the tunes of the Chief Minister. “When guidelines are very clear on Swastik stamp what made him to issue late night order,” he asked. – Ravikanth Reddy
Leaders monitor counting from home
TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao is monitoring the counting process from Pragati Bhavan. All the Congress leaders, including Congress chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, are at home as well.
This comes after the State Health department urged public representatives, political leaders and party cadre, who participated in campaigning and polling to isolate themselves for a week to contain possible spread of coronavirus.
As politicians and party cadre interacted closely with people, there is a chance for the infectious disease to spread further if asymptomatic virus carriers, who did not take precautions, were part of the rallies or other events, the Health officials pointed out. – Ravikanth Reddy
HC order on ballot papers unlikely to cause delay in counting
The High Court order keeping aside the SEC circular is unlikely to impact counting, on the premise that such ballots would be too few, say officials.
Result could be delayed only if the number of votes polled (ballots) with other than cross-arrows (swastik) mark is higher than the majority secured by a candidate with ballots not in question.
The State Election Commission had earlier issued a circular validating ballot papers with tick mark or any other stamp other than Swastika. Telangana High Court ruled that such ballots should be counted separately, and added only when the secured majority is less than such votes. – Swati Vadlamudi, B. Chandrashekar
HC suspends SEC’s letter declaring ballot papers with distinguish mark as valid
Telangana High Court has suspended a circular issued by State Election Commission (SEC) declaring that ballot papers having ‘distinguish mark’ other than the instrument (arrow cross-mark rubber stamp) were also valid.
The judge directed the SEC to preserve all ballot papers having ‘distinguish mark’ other than that of the rubber stamp mark provided at the polling stations. If the number of ballot papers with ‘distinguish mark’ exceeds 100, the final result of that division should be kept pending, the order said. – Marri Ramu
Results likely by evening
The results of the keenly-fought election is likely to be known in the evening as ballot papers were used for voting.
The SEC had decided to conduct the election with ballot papers after consultation with major parties, the Health department in view of COVID-19 pandemic and keeping in view other relevant issues, it said earlier.
Feisty and kind: the first woman mayor of Hyderabad
As the city gears up to elect a female Mayor for the next 10 years, here is a look at the first one to break the glass ceiling.
Rani Kumudini Devi was the first woman mayor of Hyderabad, unanimously elected in 1962. She represented the Wanaparthi Assembly constituency from 1962 to 1972.
Ms. Devi was born in Vaddepally in Warangal district on January 23, 1911. Her father, Pingle Venkatrama Reddy, was the deputy prime minister in the Nizam’s government. She was married to J. Rajaramdev Rao of Wanaparthi and was noted for being the first woman vehicle driver, according to records available with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
She had set up the Sivananda Rehabilitation Centre for leprosy patients. She died at the age of 98 on August 6, 2009.
Counting of votes for the recently conducted Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation commenced this morning.
Counting for the keenly contested election is being held in 150 centres set up in different locations across the GHMC limits. The postal ballots will be counted first and this will be followed by the regular ballot papers which are expected to be bundled into 25 ballots each.
Each counting hall will have 14 tables, each table with two counting assistants monitored by one counting supervisor. A total of 8,152 counting personnel have been deployed for the purpose, the statement informed. The whole process in each centre will be supervised by a Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer.
The counting process will be recorded by CCTV cameras, and will be overseen by 31 observers. A total of 14,000 votes will be counted in each round.
Ballot papers with distiguish mark valid, says SEC
The State Election Commission has issued a circular which said that ballot papers having ‘distinguish mark’ other than the instrument (arrow cross-mark rubber stamp) are also valid.
SEC C. Parthasarathy issued the letter on Thursday, a day before counting of GHMC elections began.
“During poll conducted on December 1 in some polling stations, the Polling Officer provided distinguish mark instead of arrow cross mark for marking the ballot paper to the voters to cast their vote,” read the circular.
“If the intention of the voter is clear on marking to a particular candidate, the vote can be treated as valid vote to that candidate since it is a mistake of polling personnel under rule 51(h) of Conduct of Election Rules, 2005,” it clarified.
Poll percentage has a few surprises
The final polling percentage of the December 1 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election has quite a few surprises among the wards that were affected by October floods in the city.
While Chaitanyapuri, Saroornagar, R.K. Puram and Kothapet in the eastern part of Hyderabad showed voter apathy in comparison to 2016 elections, the southern parts of the city showed a higher voter turnout as compared to 2016. Both areas were affected by floods and a large number of residents received Rs. 10,000 solatium announced by the Telangana government.