Telangana stir: 11 MPs, 80 MLAs to quit


Hyderabad : Eleven out of 12 Congress party MPs from the Telangana region and as many as 80 legislators — cutting across party lines — Thursday decided to resign to protest the central government’s move to put on hold the process of forming a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

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Congress MP Madhu Yashki Goud from Nizamabad and MP Ponnam Prabhakar from Karimnagar said they had decided to quit respecting the sentiments of the people of the region.

All party MPs from the region would be holding a meeting at the residence of Nalgonda MP G. Sukhender Reddy in New Delhi. They would decide whether to submit the resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Meanwhile, all the 80 MLAs who have decided to quit came under the banner of the Joint Action Committee (JAC).

The legislators who have quit or decided to quit include 30 each from the ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). All 10 legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) have already submitted their resignations.

Goud alleged that MPs including central ministers from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions defied the party’s decision on the Telangana issue and resorted to blackmail tactics.

He blamed the group loyal to Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy for creating the crisis. “The same people who earlier tried to blackmail the party are responsible for this situation,” he said referring to Jaganmohan Reddy’s attempts to become chief minister after his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s death in a helicopter crash.

The Nizamabad MP alleged that K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, Rajya Sabha member and close aide of the late chief minister, was behind the en masse resignations of the legislators from Andhra and Rayalaseema after the Dec 9 statement by the central government to initiate the process of forming a Telangana state.

The Telangana region has 17 members in the Lok Sabha. They include 12 of the Congress party, two each of the Telugu Desam party and Telangana Rashtra Samiti and one of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

Both the TRS MPs including party chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao have already sent their resignations to the Lok Sabha speaker.

While almost all Congress legislators have decided to quit, 13 ministers from the region said they would abide by the decision of the party’s central leadership.

The ministers held a meeting amid mounting public pressure to quit. Minister for Information and Public Relations J. Geeta Reddy told reporters while they did not see any injustice to Telangana in the latest statement made by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, there was a need for some clarity.

“The statement has created some confusion. The high command should clarify and give a time frame to complete the process for the formation of a Telangana state,” she said.

Telangana region has 119 legislators in the 294 member assembly. They include 50 from the Congress party. Even if the majority of them resign, the government would be reduced to a minority.

TDP leader E. Dayakar Rao told reporters that all 38 legislators of his party from the region had decided to quit.