Hyderabad: Claiming that a majority of the people were against the division of Andhra Pradesh, actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi Thursday resigned from the state Assembly.
Addressing a news conference, he announced that his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) had changed its stand on a separate Telangana state, respecting the sentiments of the majority of the people.
"Owning moral responsibility for changing this decision, I am resigning," he said. The PRP president later drove to assembly to submit his resignation to Speaker Kirankumar Reddy.
Chiranjeevi represents Tirupati Assembly constituency in Rayalaseema region. Ever since launching PRP last year, he had been supporting the demand for separate statehood to Telangana region.
Political observers say the massive protests in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions against the central government`s decision to initiate the process for formation of Telangana state forced the PRP chief to change his stand.
Chiranjeevi is the 15th legislator of the PRP to quit. Fourteen of the party`s 18 legislators have already submitted their resignations to the speaker over the issue.
PRP has two legislators in Telangana region.
Chiranjeevi blamed the Congress party for the unprecedented political crisis in the state saying it took a "unilateral" decision without consulting all the parties and addressing the apprehensions of people of other regions.
"Nobody had expected such huge protests and emotional outbursts for the united Andhra Pradesh," he said.
He felt that a separate state was not a solution to the problem of backwardness in Telangana.
Chiru`s U-turn triggers protests
Expressing anger over the U-turn
made by Chiranjeevi on the Telangana issue,
his party cadres and other supporters of the separate state
burnt his effigy and pelted stones on buses.
Telangana supporters raised slogans against Chiranjeevi
and threw stones at public transport buses at L B Nagar here.
Praja Rajyam flags were burnt and protests were held at
several places in Telangana region including Nizamabad,
Warangal, Mahabubnagar and other places.
"Chiranjeevi promised a `social Telangana` where backward
classes would get their due place. But now, he has betrayed
us," they alleged.
The district committee leaders of Praja Rajyam in
Mahabubnagar quit the party and joined TRS in the presence of
party president K Chandrasekhar Rao.