Hyderabad, May 30 - Forget about Jagan. There are many other reasons that could cause the ruling Congress' rout in the June 12 by-elections in one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh.
The shock that the government gave to people in the form of enhanced electricity charges is bound to strike the Congress very hard. The steep hike in petrol price has only added fuel to the fire.
The by-elections could not have come at a much worse time for the Congress. Hundreds of villages are reeling under a severe drinking water crisis with the summer at its peak. Power supply has been erratic, to put it mildly, making life miserable to one and all.
In Praksam district, for example, people from villages are catching a train to fetch drinking water from a far-off source everyday, as the government failed to make alternative arrangements in the absence of regular supplies.
The district headquarters town Ongole Assembly constituency is going for by-poll, while Kandukuru Assembly segment is also facing poll as it falls under Nellore Lok Sabha constituency. Incidentally, Kandukuru is represented by state Municipal Administration Minister M Maheedhara Reddy.
In Kurnool district, where Allagadda and Yemmiganur Assembly segments are going to polls, the situation is worse as people are forced to battle it out even for a pot of water.
The indifference of the authorities concerned is only compounding the people's woes. There are similar tales in other districts as well, causing a lot of heartburn to people.
Strangely, the Congress candidates are blaming their YSR Congress rivals for leaving people in the lurch by "neglecting development" in the last three years.
The irony here is that the YSRC candidates had been the ruling Congress MLAs for more than two-and-a-half years before they switched over and faced disqualification, causing the by-election.
So when the Congress contestants are blaming their YSRC rivals, it is coming back to hit the government. PTI