K Chandrasekhar Rao bats for early GHMC polls

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Hyderabad: TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who succeeded in his plan of holding early elections to the Assembly and taking the Opposition by surprise, is said to be planning for snap polls for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

The party has a massive majority in the city corporation, having won nearly 100 out of the 150 wards in the elections held three years ago.

Sources said Mr Rao was sounding senior leaders about holding the civic body elections one and a half years ahead of schedule.

The elections were held in February 2016, and the tenure of the GHMC elected body runs till 2021.

Elections are due in July for 68 municipalities and Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Ramagundam municipal corporation. The government created another 68 municipalities by passing an Act in March last year. Elections need to be held for these too.

TRS sources said that Mr Rao was considering holding elections to the urban bodies in November, and was planning to hold the GHMC elections simultaneously.

Though some senior leaders dismissed the possibility of early elections for the GHMC, stating that it was only a rumour, some leaders said it could not be ruled out. They said that if the TRS bagged all 16 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, Mr Rao would certainly think of going in for early elections to the GHMC.

They said the Congress was in ruins with 11 MLAs defecting to the ruling party, and lower rung cadre joining the TRS in large numbers.

Against such a backdrop, Mr Rao would prepare a strategy to wipe out the Congress poltically from the urban areas and from the state capital.

Sources disclosed that some senior leaders had told Mr Rao that going in for polls nearly 18 months early would not be advisable, as the state would go for Assembly polls in December 2023.

But some others said that if the TRS won all the urban civic bodies including the GHMC in November or December, it would help the party consolidate its strength further.
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