Usual ‘josh’ among the contesting candidates for Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation elections has been missing this time. The longest over civic elections in the history of the state will end on Sunday with the counting of votes. Meanwhile, the candidates are waiting with bated breath as their fate is sealed in the ballot boxes. Many candidates are feeling the pressure amid reports of silent voting and the impact of independents, who are also a major factor as there are 178 independent candidates contesting for the 98 GVMC wards.
Heavy polling in Gajuwaka, Anakapalle, Pendurthi and Bheemili areas, where polling percentage crossed 70 percent, is also leading to the speculations about the winning of chances of parties. IN 48 of the 98 wards, there were above 60 percent polling and in some wards, the voting percentage was more than that of the 2019 Assembly polls. There is a neck and neck race in most of the wards and the winners may scrape through by a slender margin.
The YSRC, which has made an all-out effort to win the GVMC polls, is confident of a good show whereas the TDP is also putting up a brave front stating that there will be surprises in the election. The Jana Sena is also expecting a few seats. The winner will be known by tomorrow evening. There will be 98 ward members in the new council. Besides, there are 14 ex-officio members, including MLAs, MPs and MLCs. With this, there will be an effective strength of 112 members and the party which gets a magic figure of 57 will win the mayoral seat.
Ex-officio members are three YSRC MPs- MVV Sathyanarayana(Vizag), B Satyavati (Anakapalli) and V Vijayasai Reddy and MLAs of Visakhapatnam east, west, north and south, Bheemili, Pendurhi, Gajuwaka and Anakapalli and MLCs Duvvarapu Rama Rao and Buddha Naga Jagadeeswara Rao(TDP) and PVN Madhav (BJP). Among MLAs four are from the YSRC and three from TDP. South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar pledged support to the YSRC.
In the 2007 elections, though the TDP won more wards in the elections, the Congress nominee became mayor with the support of independents and ex-officio members. As many as 567 candidates, 178 independents, are in the fray for 98 wards. The party-wise break up is BSP 9, BJP 44, CPI 6, CPM 19, YSRC 98, INC 67, Jana Sena 51, TDP 94 and others 1 and independents 198. The YSRC is the only party which is contesting all 98 seats.