HYDERABAD: Mir Chowk police registered a case against MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi and five others for attacking Congress leaders in front of the police station here on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, MIM workers attacked the house of deputy chief minister Mahmood Ali at Azampura. Police had to use force to disperse the MIM workers who allegedly tried to manhandle Mahmood Ali’s son Azam Ali. The deputy CM was present in the house when the incident occurred. Police arrested MIM MLA Ahmed Balala in connection with the attack and took him to Bolarum police station.
Around 45 per cent of voters exercised their franchise and the turnout was 2 per cent higher than the previous GHMC polls held in November 23, 2009. Counting of votes will be held on February 5 at 24 identified counting centres and results are expected by afternoon.
Though the situation remained by and large peaceful throughout the day, the incidents in old city triggered tension in the city late in the evening.
Trouble started when TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy and senior leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir went to Mirchowk police station along with supporters demanding release of party leader Mohd Ghouse who is also a candidate.
Around the same time, Asaduddin Owaisi came to the police station along with his supporters raising slogans against the Congress leaders. The two groups were engaged in an altercation after which some MIM workers, in the presence of Asaduddin Owaisi, smashed the windscreen of Uttam Kumar Reddy’s car. In the video grab, one MIM worker can be seen delivering repeated blows at Shabbir Ali through the car window and he suffered brusies on his face. After the damage was done, the policemen dispersed the mob. The Congress workers led by Uttam Kumar Reddy then sat on a dharna outside the DGP’s office at Lakdi-Ka-Pul demanding action against MIM workers. “We condemn the goondaism by Asaduddin Owaisi and the police should arrest him,” demanded Uttam Kumar Reddy.
In fact, Shabbir Ali alleged that it was Asaduddin Owaisi who picked up a stone and smashed the windscreen of the car while his supporters joined him.
At around 5 pm, MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi along with his supporters barged into a polling booth in Falaknuma and allegedly assaulted a BJP polling agent leaving him injured. The polling agent ran out to safety. The MIM workers then entered into a heated argument with some BJP workers outside and soon the situation spiralled out of control as MIM workers pelted stones and BJP workers retaliated. Additional police forces were rushed in even as Falaknuma and nearby areas remained tense till late in the night.
Reacting to the clashes at Mirchowk, IT minister KT Rama Rao said that the incident was unfortunate.
Replying to a query about the clashes, GHMC Special officer B Janardhan Reddy said that the Returning Officer and Polling Officer concerned have been asked to submit a detailed report.
The polling began on a dull note and picked up in the afternoon. GHMC has 74,23,980 voters which include 39,69,007 men, 34,53,910 women and 1,163 others
TPCC Demands Arrest of Owaisi
TPCC working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka demanded immediate arrest of MIM president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi and MIM legislators following the attack on TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and senior leader Md Ali Shabbir. Alleging that police have colluded with MIM leaders in the Old City, Vikramarka condemned the attitude of police who watched while Cong leaders were attacked, in a letter written to DGP Anurag Sharma on Tuesday.
A Prestigious Fight for TRS
The battle of ballot involved high political stakes for the ruling TRS as it wanted to prove that they are a formidable force in Greater Hyderabad too. Established in 2001, TRS had stayed away from GHMC elections in 2003 and 2009. In 2014 Legislative Assembly elections, TRS won only two out of the 24 seats in GHMC limits which include Secunderabad won by Excise minister, T Padma Rao and Malkajgiri by C Kanaka Reddy.
45 per cent Polling
Polling percentage recorded was around 45 percent. In 2009 it was 42.92 percent
Counting of votes on February 5
Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor on February 11
IT Professionals unenthusiastic
For the first time, Braille EVMs used to help visually challenged persons to cast their votes
1,600 micro observers monitored the polls
3,000 engineering students involved in webcasting to cover election process
Four tendered votes have been registered in 102, 114, 122 and 136 wards. In 2009 polls, about 300 tendered votes were polled
Large numbers of citizens returned disappointed as their names were missing from the voters’ list
No technical glitches were reported with EVMs