Of the total seven, six seats are in Telangana region and the other in coastal Andhra. However, by-elections will also become inevitable to 17 other seats -- one in Telangana and the rest in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions -- if as many MLAs, belonging to the ruling Congress and (one of) the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), get disqualified for voting against the government in the Assembly in December last.
The disqualification petitions are expected to be disposed of in the next few days ahead of the ensuing budget session of the Legislature. Also, three Congress members of the Legislative Council are facing disqualification for going against the party and by-elections should be held for these seats as well, in the event of their disqualification.
Soon after the by-elections, biennial elections to six Rajya Sabha seats from the state are due in April. The outcome of the by-elections to the Assembly seats will determine whether or not the Congress government dares to go for the long overdue elections to urban local bodies as well as rural local bodies.
But, the government will be left with no option except to conduct the local bodies' elections to avert any constitutional crisis. Immediately thereafter, elections to co-operative institutions, which are also overdue, need to be held.
But, all eyes are focused primarily on the by-elections -- being dubbed as the 'mini general elections' -- for the Assembly seats, as the stakes are very high for the four main parties. The fate of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government hinges on the outcome of the by-polls as, on its own, it has now been reduced to a minority in the 294-member House.