Hyderabad: The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh appears to have developed election phobia against the backdrop of growing unrest over issues like power shortage, water scarcity and steep hike in electricity tariff, besides political factors.
The party that had made claims about conducting elections to the local bodies -- both rural and urban -- in the third week of April or early May, has now gone back on its word.
It is also said to be wary of facing by-elections in as many as 18 Assembly constituencies in the event of disqualification of "rebel" MLAs (of Congress as well as TDP).
Political factors apart, anti-incumbency trend is apparently making the Congress diffident about facing any elections at the present juncture.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had announced on March 16 that elections to Panchayat Raj institutions would be conducted in the third week of April or the first week of May but so far the government has not communicated its decision to the State Election Commission (SEC) in this regard.
The electoral rolls, however, have been published, indicating that the SEC is ready to conduct polls as and when the government comes forward.
But as such there is no indication that elections to rural local bodies are being held over the next few days.
In fact, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to the state government in February for the conduct of elections to Panchayat Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies but the Congress is still dragging its feet.