By-polls to 7 seats on March 18

Nagam will contest as Independent

By-elections for the seven Assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh will be held on March 18. Election Commission has issued notification for six seats in Telangana and one in Andhra.

Nominations will be received from February 22, while counting will taken up on March 21.

The announcement of the schedule is likely to pave way for the long-pending disqualification procedure of 17 MLAs who violated party whips. The undue delay in disqualifying the MLAs loyal to Jagan was attributed in political circles to the ruling party’s disinclination for holding by-polls to all 24 seats at one go.

Polls are due in Kollapur, Nagarkurnool, Mahbubnagar, Stationghanpur, Kamareddy, Adilabad and Kovur (Nellore district). Mahbubnagar seat fell vacant following the death of Independent MLA Rajeshwar Reddy. While Kovur election will be a test for Jagan’s fledgeling party, the Telagnana polls will be an opportuntiy for TRS to flex its electoral muscle. Except for Nagarkurnool, the remaining seats will have sitting MLAs contesting on TRS tickets.

While four of the constituencies earlier belonged to TDP, two of the sitting MLAs were from Congress. While TRS is on a swing in Telangana, YSR Congress Party expects to win Kovur hands down. While expectations for both TRS and YSR Congress are high, any setback in the outcome will also cost these parties dearly.