Telangana: 13 AP ministers resign, send letter to Sonia
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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 Kondapaka.

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

PTI


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


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