Crisis in AP deepens as Telangana MPs, MLAs resign
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 05, 2011, 00:18
  
Hyderabad/New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh appeared headed for a political crisis on Tuesday with Congress and TDP MPs and MLAs, including 11 Ministers, from Telangana region resigning en masse, mounting pressure on the Centre for early creation of a separate state.

Even as Home Minister P Chidambaram counselled patience telling them that the Centre would expedite the consultation process, lawmakers from the region took their campaign to a new level.

In Hyderabad, 39 Congress MLAs, including 11 ministers, resigned from the Assembly along with 34 TDP legislators. The Ministers, however, did not quit the Cabinet as planned earlier.

Seven Congress MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in New Delhi and handed over their resignation letters along with that of two other MPs who could not be present. Rajya Sabha member K Keshav Rao met the Officer on Special Duty to Chairman Hamid Ansari and submitted his resignation.

Rao, who is spearheading the campaign of lawmakers from the region, dismissed criticism that the resignation was a "gimmick" and said they were identifying themselves with the people of Telangana, who want a separate state immediately.

"The Centre had on December 9, 2009 virtually announced a separate Telangana state. But it has not been implemented. We have been persuading them. Now, we are helpless before the people of Telangana," he told reporters.

Asked whether the MPs would withdraw their resignations, Rao said it could be reviewed if there was a "concrete assurance" from the Congress High Command on the issue within a time-frame.

The Congress has 50 MLAs from the region, while the TDP has 36 and TRS 11 in the 294-member Assembly. Congress has 155 seats in the House.

BJP announced its support for creation of Telangana state and demanded that the Centre introduce a Bill in this regard in the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament.

It said the action by the Congress MPs and MLAs shows that they have lost faith in their party leadership.

On its part, the Congress sought to mollify those agitating for separate statehood by maintaining that it has not been against the creation of smaller states including Telangana.

Party sources said that there was unlikely to be any immediate action on the resignations by the presiding officers.

Chidambaram said the Centre has not taken a final decision on the Telangana issue as the consultation process in this regard was still on.

The resignations are intended to get the Centre take a decision on creation of separate Telanagana state over which it had appointed a committee that had given its report last year.

Four other ministers from Telangana, including Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, chose not to follow in the footsteps of their colleagues.

Only five ministers -- Jana Reddy, J Geeta Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Komatireddi Venkat Reddy and Basavaraj Saraiah -- came in person to the Assembly to submit their papers to the Deputy Speaker.

Saraiah carried the resignation letters of six of his colleagues to the Deputy Speaker.

"Our resignations are neither to defy the Congress high command nor to create political or constitutional crisis in the state. They are meant only to convey the strong aspirations of Telangana people to the Congress high command as well as the Government of India," senior minister K Jana Reddy told newsmen before leaving for New Delhi to confer with AICC leaders.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, July 05, 2011, 00:18


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