TRS battered in yard, loses key GHMC union, cries sabotage

HYDERABAD: The ruling TRS’ campaign blitz with a battery of netas, MLAs and two ministers came a cropper with the party-affiliated municipal workers’ union losing the prestigious Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) union polls. The drubbing came as a bigger shock as TRS has corporator strength of 99 and it’s the first defeat since formation of state of Telangana. The party brass went into a huddle and is analyzing the loss.
BJP-affiliated Bhagyanagar Municipal (BMEU) trounced TRS-affiliated Greater Hyderabad Municipal Employees Union (GHMEU) with a margin of 1,317 votes. While the ruling party roped in deputy chief minister , minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy, TRS whip and MLA VSrinivas Goud and other leaders, BMEU carried out its electioneering with local BJP leaders with some help from the national pool.

This is the first big setback for TRS since 2014 as the party not only won GHMC polls with a thumping majority, but also swept RTC and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) union elections. A month ago, TRS won Singareni elections by a huge margin. BMEU got support from SC/ST Employees union and non-gazetted officers.

Ironically, TRS had won the GHMC employees’ union elections in 2012, when the state was not bifurcated. Municipal Minister KT Rama Rao expressed unhappiness over the election result. Some leaders explained to him that promises made in earlier elections such as house sites and health cards to employees were not kept.

GHMEU lost with a huge margin of 1,317 votes of the total 4,260 votes polled. The previous union elections held in 2012, GHMEU secured recognized union status with a majority of 1,200 votes.

GHMEU president attributed the defeat to some , who worked for BMEU. “Some leaders, particularly in the central committee in Abids and Khairtabad offices backstabbed us. Some top leaders, who assured support also worked in favour of BMEU.” He said he will soon submit a report to TRS leadership.

BMEU president K Shankar, who won elections said, workers and employees taught the ruling party a lesson. “The TRS government kept postponing elections for past four years fearing loss. The elections were conducted after a order,” BMES president K Shankar told TOI.

Elections for GHMC workers union were supposed to be held in 2014 after expiry of two years tenure. But the state government did not conduct elections and BMEU approached High Court, seeking directions to hold union elections. The same BMEU approached against the government for contempt of high court when elections were not conducted till 2018. The state government finally informed the court they would hold elections in January 2018 and conducted elections. “Though another three unions were in fray, some unions like INTUC-affiliated MSMU secured 350 votes GHMCEWU got 194 votes,” a union leader said.

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