Telangana: Rebellion grows in Congress

Unhappy over Congress party`s decision to carve out separate Telangana state, an MP from the ruling party and three legislators from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions resigned late on Tuesday.

Zee News Bureau

Hyderabad: Unhappy over Congress party`s decision to carve out separate Telangana state, an MP from the ruling party and three legislators from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions resigned late on Tuesday.

Reports on Wednesday said a Congress MP from Guntur Rayapati Sambasiva Rao resigned both from the party and the Lok Sabha.

Rao, who is visiting the US, faxed his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Congress legislator P Satish Kumar, who represents Mummidivaram constituency in East Godavari district, also sent his resignation to Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker N Manohar yesterday.

Thota Trimurthulu also of Congress from Ramchandrapuram constituency in East Godavari district has also resigned.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator from Anantapur, P. Abdul Gani also announced his resignation.

Tulsi Reddy, chairman, 20 point programme committee, was the first to announce his resignation after CWC decision was announced by central leaders Ajay Maken and Digvijaya Singh. He faxed his resignation to state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana.

The resignations came hours after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) gave a go-ahead to the creation of Telangana as India`s 29th state and urged the government to take constitutional steps in this regard.

The new state will comprise of 10 districts including Hyderabad, which will be the common capital for 10 years, during which period the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh will build its own capital.

The CWC, the highest decision making body of the Congress, passed a resolution after the United Progressive Alliance`s co-ordination committee endorsed statehood for Telangana earlier in the day.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said the new state will come into being in four to five months.
Congress spokesman Ajay Maken said the CWC meeting was presided over by party president Sonia Gandhi and attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among others. Both strongly pitched for Telangana.

Manmohan Singh told the meeting that the formation of Telangana was very much required "for the development of the entire Andhra region".

Digvijaya Singh said the issue would go to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, whose resolution will be sent to the Union Cabinet, which will appoint a Group of Ministers to look into issues relating to sharing of water, electricity and safety and security of all three regions of the state.

The CWC decision followed protracted discussions in the party following divisions between its leaders in Andhra Pradesh favouring statehood to Telangana and those opposed to it.

Celebrations broke out in Telangana after the Congress leaders announced the decision. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) and other groups were jubilant.

TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, who reached the party headquarters Telangana Bhavan to a warm welcome by his supporters, welcomed the move but said he would not celebrate till the bill for Telangana was passed.

Reacting to Digvijaya Singh`s remark that the TRS had promised to merge with Congress if the Telangana demand was met, he said his party would take a decision after the bill was passed.
He also demanded clarification of the proposal to make Hyderabad the joint capital.

Groups seeking a united Andhra Pradesh expressed unhappiness with the decision and a shutdown has been called in the Seemandhra region (as coastal Andhra and Rayalseema are commonly known) Wednesday.

Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, of the Congress, and three legislators - two from the Congress and one from the Telugu Desam Party - resigned in protest.

Earlier, the UPA coordination committee endorsed statehood to Telangana.

It was attended by leaders of constituent parties like the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference and Ajit Singh`s Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The decision by CWC fulfilled a five-decade-old demand of the people of Telangana. This will create two states for Telugu-speaking people.

The announcement ended a chapter in the history of Andhra Pradesh, which was formed Nov 1, 1956 with the merger of Telangana (then known as Hyderabad State) with Andhra State.

With IANS inputs