Rajya Sabha member K Chiranjeevi said on Saturday that he would take responsibility for ensuring the Congress' victory in five of the 18 Assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh that would face by-elections on June 12.
Talking to newsmen during his tour of East Godavari district, Mr Chiranjeevi said he would strive for victory of Congress candidates in Payakaraopet, Ramachandrapuram, Narsapuram, Tirupati and Allagadda constituencies.
Incidentally, the Tirupati Assembly seat was vacated by Chiranjeevi himself upon his election to the Rajya Sabha last month. The Allagadda seat was won by his erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) in 2009 but the MLA quit her post and joined the YSR Congress.
In Narsapuram and Ramachandrapuram constituencies, Mr Chiranjeevi got the tickets for his erstwhile PRP colleagues Kothapalli Subbarayudu and Thota Trimurtulu, respectively.
The Congress is banking heavily on the caste factor in Narsapuram and Ramachandrapuram for victory despite the wind largely blowing against it in practically all the segments where by-elections will be held.
The Congress is facing a tough task in finalising candidates for Allagadda, Tirupati and Payakaraopet seats because of various reasons, including large-scale in-fighting.
The by-polls in 16 of the 18 seats are necessitated due to disqualification of sitting Congress MLAs who switched loyalty to Kadapa MP and voted against the Congress government during a floor test in December last. Another MLA quit in support of Mr Jagan while actor-turned-politician Mr Chiranjeevi resigned as MLA following his election to Rajya Sabha.
The by-election has been necessitated for Nellore Lok Sabha constituency as the sitting Congress MP quit in support of Mr Jagan.