By-polls to decide fate of Kiran

Outcome of the impending by-elections to 18 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat will set the course for the next general elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Essentially though, the by-elections will determine the longevity of N Kiran Kumar Reddy as Chief Minister as well as the fate of the ruling Congress in the state.

Kiran only managed to prolong his innings by ensuring that by-polls to these 18 seats were not held along with the seven in March or else his fate would have been sealed by now.

He has, however, been put under notice by the Congress high command to ensure the party romps home at least in half of the 18 seats now, failing which — to put it in Kiran’s own lingo — he will lose his wicket.