The seven vacancies in the 294-member state assembly and 17 members facing disqualification for defying the party whip, the by-elections would decide the course and trend of the next general election due in 2014.
Though YSR Congress camp made some provocative speeches that it will dethrone the Kiran Kumar Reddy Government if a no confidence motion is tabled, things did not go the way to the liking of Kadapa MP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
However, the chinks in all the parties were exposed. Sixteen Congress legislators stood up in support of no confidence motion along with Sobha Nagi Reddy (PRP) and this is a signal that the emergence of YSR Congress has an impact and it is serious. Though the numbers fell down drastically for the new party from the day it came into being to the voting on no confidence motion, a new platform has been created for people who are not happy with Congress or TDP.
The third force can always sway the electoral fortunes as PRP did in the 2009 battle. TRS is already there but the force is limited only to Telangana region and if reports are to be believed, is dwindling. This is evident by the sequence of events that unfolded after the Sakala Janula Samme and their appeal in the House to vote for no confidence motion had no takers from other political parties.
In this backdrop, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are to be tapped by the two major parties. This is where YSR Congress party is expected to cut in to the vote bank of both the parties.
The strategies and tie-ups will be worked afresh and the ensuing by elections will be read as an indicator to the big battle ahead.
Congress must have won the number game, but it has many other things to worry about. For one, the YSR Congress platform is wide open, second the Telangana Congress members need to be pacified from time to time and TRS will not leave any opportunity to whip up passions.
TDP lost the vote, but it stands to gain on moral grounds. It could expose the division within the Congress, the feat could not be done by TRS that effectively due to obvious reasons. It could also bring to the fore the real strength of YSR Congress in the House.
The numbers and equations are subject change and this change is constant in politics, but the ensuing by-elections will read out the date to many unanswered questions. (INN)