The Congress government is likely to announce local body polls ahead of the byelections to 18 Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in a bid to deflect people’s attention away from its discomfiture in the face of the challenge posed by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Congress hopes this will defuse Jagan’s propaganda fallout and help the party save face to some extent. It is expected that the tactic would require Jagan to expand his focus to the entire state. This decision was taken at a meting of 15 ministers called by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at his camp office.
“It is not clear when the notification for the bypolls would be issued. Let us first complete the elections to cooperative and local bodies,” a minister quoted the chief minister as saying. Almost all ministers agreed to this and wanted the chief minister to go ahead with his plan.
Local body and cooperative elections before Assembly bypolls mean YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has to shift his attention to the entire state. Thus, his concentration on 18 Assembly segments would be disturbed, which is expected to help Congress. “A political gameplan will always be like that,” a minister said.