Hyderabad: Leaders from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, cutting across party lines, and other united Andhra protagonists slammed the UPA government over the passage of Telangana bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
"It is a very unfortunate situation. I am saddened that a party with such a long legacy has done it," Union HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, who hails from Coastal Andhra, said.
Describing the passage of the bill amidst din and chaos as a "murder of democracy", TDP Rajya Sabha member Y S Chowdary claimed that "Congress, which is going to die, has done grave injustice to the two regions on its way."
Union Minister Chiranjeevi, however, felt that Congress alone could not be blamed for the division.
"We believed in those who said they will play till the last ball is bowled (to prevent division). We believed in them. They have to answer now," he said.
YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy said, "This is the black day in the history of this country. We are declaring a bandh tomorrow in the state of Andhra Pradesh in protest."
Hitting out at Congress for "unilaterally" going ahead with the division, state Infrastructure and Investment Minister G Srinivasa Rao today quit his post and the party.
"The decision (regarding division) was taken against people`s wishes and Delhi elders are trying to get the Bill passed. A national policy or procedure like appointing state`s reorganisation commission, judicial commission or assembly resolution should have been followed for division. None of these is followed," he said.
APNGOs, a powerful union of employees from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema who have been agitating against the division, also slammed the passage of the Bill.
"People will not forget this. They will teach a lesson to this government. People (of Seemandhra) need not feel sad. We have to move ahead in such a way that the loss is minimal on account of state`s division," APNGO president P Ashok Babu, who also heads the forum for protection of united AP, said.