HYDERABAD: Having lost all the six Telangana and one Andhra (Kovur) Assembly seat in the recent bypolls, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will now have to face yet another challenge, a bigger one this time, in trying to retain one Lok Sabha (Nellore) and 18 Assembly seats, for which byelections will be held on June 12.
When the party position in the constituencies is far from satisfactory, the Election Commission dropped the bombshell on Kiran Reddy Tuesday afternoon by announcing the bypolls.
Election notification will be issued on May 18.
The model code of conduct came into force on Tuesday.
Kiran Reddy had planned to visit districts where byelections are due and announce sops under one scheme or the other.
He had only begun the exercise when the model code of conduct came into force.
He visited Visakhapatnam, Kadapa and Chittoor districts recently and announced several welfare programmes.
More than the threat from YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu, Kiran Kumar Reddy is uncomfortable with his own Cabinet colleagues who have become vocal critics of his style of functioning.
PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, health minister DL Ravindra Reddy and deputy chief mini s t e r Damodar Rajanarasimha have differences with the CM and they do not attempt to hide their displeasure.
Latest addition to the list is labour minister Danam Nagender who is sore over the chief minister reducing VAT on textiles from 4 percent to 1 percent following a representation from the industry, while his plea for the same was rejected.
A few surveys done to assess the strength of the party also came as a dampener to the Congress, which is yet to recover from the impact of the recent byelections.
In many constituencies which are going for byelections now, the main players are YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and N Chandrababu Naidu.
As the party apparatus is in a disarray with internal squabbles, AICC president Sonia Gandhi had sent Vayalar Ravi to Hyderabad to make an assessment of what needs to be done for the party to put up a better performance at the hustings.
Ravi is expected to visit the state once again.
Meanwhile, PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana will be leaving for Delhi in a couple of days to finalise the candidates for the byelections.
The party high command believes if it loses the byelections, it would cause a serious damage to the party’s image and might even trigger migration of Congress leaders to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party.
“No one wants the Congress ticket this time.
If you approach the party, even you will get the ticket,” DL Ravindra Reddy said told mediapersons on Tuesday.
Though Ravindra Reddy is stretching it a bit because he has his own axe to grind against Kiran Kumar Reddy, the fact remains that the party’s position is not very encouraging.
Of the three main players, the Congress and the TDP are yet to finalise their candidates for all the seats.