Election of India’s one of the major municipalities, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), ended almost peacefully on February 2 across GHMC limits without a NOTA option in EVMs for citizens to choose.
For a 150 seats contest, as many as 2,631 candidates filed nominations but only 1,333 contested the election that cost Election Authority of GHMC a staggering 3.33 crores for providing just basic minimum facilities at the polling stations.
A group of prominent citizens from Hyderabad were “highly disappointed” at finding no NOTA option in the EVMs in the GHMC election, and called it “unfair elections overriding the Supreme Court Order”.
Taking a potshot at Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) and Government of Telangana, National Steering Committee member of Swaraj Abhiyan Dr. Lubna Sarwath wondered by both have failed to ensure NOTA to the EVMs of GHMC 2016 elections.
“TSEC had already assured NGOs in December 2015 that NOTA would definitely be provided as such the NGOs should spread the word of NOTA,” Dr Sarwath said.
Government orders (GO) 19 & 20 of 7 January 2016 issued for notifications to made provision for NOTA, she said while adding that another GO was issued a day before elections to revoke the orders.
Dr Sarwath sought clarification from authorities whether this act is not a) infringement of citizens’ rights; b) contempt of court; c) dereliction of duty and d) absence of good faith in discharging their duty.
There was a slight increase in percentage of voter turnout from over 42% from last time to nearly 45% this time. There could have been better voter turnout had NOTA been provided in the election, she said while citing Supreme Court’s statement on the same.
Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) fielded candidates on all 150 seats, while Indian National Congress (INC) fielded 149 candidates. TDP, BJP and MIM fielded 95, 66, and 60 candidates, respectively. As many as 640 independent candidates contested the election.
According to the Election Authority, in five wards where there were more than 16 contesting candidates: Balanagar, East Anandbagh, Jangammet, Ramanthapur and Suraram.
GHMC Election results is scheduled to be announced on February 5, 2016.