Hyderabad: The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh would fight the ensuing bypolls to 17 Assembly constituencies, which were represented by loyalists to Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on the plank of development and welfare schemes launched by the state government.

"Development and welfare will be our plank. We are confident of winning over people's confidence," state unit Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana told reporters here on Thursday.

The bypolls for 16 out of the 17 seats are necessitated as the sitting Congress MLAs were disqualified by the Assembly Speaker for switching their allegiance to Jagan by violating the party whip, while the sitting member of another segment quit in support of the Kadapa MP which caused the byelection.

The legislators were disqualified on March 2 and the bypolls are supposed to be held in six months. Though the schedule for the byelections is not yet announced, Congress, Telugu Desam and other major parties have begun their preparations in the right earnest.

Both TDP and Congress have informally finalized candidates for some of the constituencies, while the YSR Congress of Jagan is expected to field those who were disqualified.

Asked whether the allegations of corruption against Jagan would be an issue in the elections, the PCC president said the Congress would definitely inform people about it.

He said the party would conduct a mass-contact programme at the grass roots level to raise people's awareness on the state government's decision to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to oversee the implementation of SC and ST sub-plans.