‘Cong to bank on development plank in by-polls’

Hyderabad: The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh will face the crucial bypoll to seven assembly seats in the state on the plank of development, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said here on Sunday.

"No state in the country is, probably, implementing as many welfare and development programmes as being done by the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh and it will be our main plank in the coming bypolls," Reddy told reporters here.

Bypolls would soon be held in six assembly segments in Telangana region and one in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Of the six seats in Telangana region, election was necessitated in one because of the death of a sitting member, while the other five seats fell vacant after the MLAs representing them quit in support of the demand for statehood to the region.

The lone seat going to polls in the coastal region fell vacant as the sitting TDP MLA resigned to join Jagan Reddy camp.

Besides, disqualification proceedings against 17 other MLAs, who violated their party whip during the recent no-confidence motion against government, are pending with the Speaker. Bypoll in their constituencies would depend upon the Speaker's ruling. However, it was not known as to when the Speaker would decide in the matter.

However, Reddy said these bypolls would not be a referendum on the performance of his government as several factors come into play in by-elections.

Responding to a query, Reddy said MLAs of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam would be inducted into the Cabinet in consultation with the party chief Chiranjeevi.

Reddy also informed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may visit Hyderabad for the 'partnership summit' scheduled to be held on January 12.