Telangana: 13 AP ministers resign, send letter to Sonia

Last Updated: Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 00:16

Hyderabad: The crisis over the Telangana
issue escalated today with all 13 Andhra Pradesh ministers
from that region resigning sending a joint letter to Congress
chief Sonia Gandhi and wanted the Centre to fix a deadline--
also echoed by TRS--for carving out separate state.

The situation in Telangana region continued to be tense
and there was no let up in violence by pro-statehood
protesters despite the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS)
decision to withdraw the bandh on the second day of the
48-hour bandh call today due to Christmas.

The Centre meanwhile sought to mollify the Telangana
protagonists saying it has "not diluted" its stand on the
statehood issue.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, in-charge of Congress
affairs in AP, said in New Delhi "the union government has not
diluted its stand on Telangana."

Under pressure from fellow legislators, the 13 ministers,
who faxed their common resignation letter to Gandhi, met Chief
Minister K Rosaiah en masse at the Secretariat here and
informed him about their decision.

Later, P Lakshmaiah, Sabita Reddy, D Sridhar Babu and
other ministers said they have requested the Centre to
announce a clear cut time-frame for formation of a separate
Telangana state.

Ways to intensify the agitation for Telangana state,
including TRS`s call for an indefinite bandh, were discussed
at a meeting here of leaders from the region.

At the first meeting of the Telangana Joint Action
Committee (JAC), formed yesterday, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar
Rao is understood to have mooted a proposal to fix a deadline
for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Rao wanted immediate steps to be taken by the Centre to
initiate the process of Telangana formation.

The Ministers who resigned today said Union Home Minister
P Chidambaram`s statement on December 23 that the situation
had altered since the announcement of a separate state was
"confusing". The Ministers also said they would seek an
appointment soon to meet Gandhi.

Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu asserted
that it is the responsibility of the ruling Congress to find
an immediate solution to the ongoing crisis in the state over
the bifurcation issue.

"This (division of state) is a very sensitive issue.
The Congress has complicated it. Hence, it is for the Congress
to resolve the crisis," Naidu told reporters here.

Widespread protests, demonstrations, road blockades and
rallies were held in several Telangana districts while TJAC
activists allegedly attacked Civil Supplies Department`s
godown and burnt vehicles in Mahabubnagar district.

In Warangal city, the TJAC protesters reportedly pelted
stones on the residence of Major Irrigation Minister P
Lakshmaiah, demanding him to resign from his post and extend
support for separate Telangana statehood. However, the police
prevented them from entering into the minister`s house.

Raising pro-Telangana slogans, hundreds of students took
out massive rallies and later assembled in front of the
Kakatiya University in Warangal and staged a demonstration.

In Adilabad district, pro-Telangana activists also held
rallies, staged road blockades and burnt effigies.

A report from Karimnagar said agitators damaged eight
trucks besides burning a car and a jeep in Godavarikhani.

The protesters also set fire to a tower of a private
cell phone operator in Siddipet mandal while a telephone
exchange and a gram panchayat office were torched at

They set the railway signal cabin office near Raghavapur
railway station ablaze late last night, police said.


First Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 00:16

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