New Delhi: After emerging victorious in Dubbaka, a nondescript and economically backward assembly constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made big gains in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls. From just four seats in 2016 to 48 divisions in 2020, BJP has replaced the Congress (which won only two wards) and emerged as the main challenger to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which bagged 55 seats, 21 short of the majority mark. In the 2015 GHMC election, the TRS had registered victory on 99 seats. Notably, the election was held in 150 wards, and results for 146 wards were announced by late Friday evening. Also Read - GHMC Election Results 2020: TRS Emerges as Single-Largest Party, BJP Makes Significant Inroads | 10 Points

The BJP had invested its full energy in the elections. Top leaders including Amit Shah, party president JP Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had run a high-octane campaign for the party candidates for the civic body polls. Besides, it had appointed one of its key electoral managers and general secretary, Bhupender Yadav, who had successfully handled the party’s campaign in the Bihar assembly polls. Also Read - GHMC Election Results 2020: Amit Shah Thanks People of Telangana for Reposing Faith in BJP's Vikas Politics

What does GHMC victory mean for BJP? 

-Political analysts believe that the saffron party has come out as a dominant force in the state with an aim of getting an absolute majority in 2023 Assembly polls and turn Telangana into the second gateway to South India after Karnataka.

-TRS defeat in Dubbaka and the setback in GHMC proves there is anti-incumbency and BJP has used this to its advantage thus replacing Congress as the main opposition.

“BJP has clearly made a mark in GHMC elections by improving Party’s tally from 2016. And with Congress once again failing, the saffron party acquired the status of main opposition to the ruling TRS,” said analyst P. Raghavendra Reddy.

-This will give an edge to the saffron party in five Lok Sabha seats and 24 assembly seats of Greater Hyderabad. Besides, it will also open the BJP gateway to West Bengal and Odisha, where the saffron party has not tasted victory.

-With big gains, the saffron party will also attempt to dislodge the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which has been in Hyderabad politics for the last six decades.

-BJP’s next target will be the by-elections to Nagarjunasagar Assembly seat, which fell vacant following the death of sitting legislator of TRS’ Nomula Narsimhaiah three days ago.

Was BJP’s Preparation Inspired by  Shah’s 2017 Panchayats to Parliament (p-to-p) Plan?

The party’s plan to deploying top guns for Hyderabad Civic Polls appears to be influenced by a strategy made by Amit Shah in 2017.

“The party should rule from panchayat to Parliament in the next 50 years”, the former BJP president Amit Shah had stated in 2017, in an ominous warning to Opposition.

In the 2017 local body elections in Odisha, top BJP leaders including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, then CMs of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand– Raman Singh and Raghubar Das had campaigned for the party candidates.

The BJP’s high-octane campaign, however, did not go in vain as it emerged as the main opposition party, winning 297 of the 853 zila parishad seats.

‘Moral victory, BJP only alternative to ruling TRS ‘

“The people of Hyderabad have made it clear what will be the results of the Telangana assembly elections (2023). I can say with confidence that people of Telangana have decided to say goodbye to the corrupt KCR government”, Nadda tweeted, reacting to the GHMC election results.

Echoing similar remarks, Bhupender Yadav asserted that the party’s performance showed that people have given their mandate against dynasty politics and corrupt practices of the TRS.

“Responsibilities given to the BJP will be carried out by the party with its best abilities”, he added.