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