The number of Congress MPs to resign to protest against the Centre's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh has gone up to three, while 93 MLAs from Congress (53), Telugu Desam Party (29) and Praja Rajyam (11) have also resigned. Two TDP MPs have also submitted their resignation.
However, Chief Minister K Rosaiah urged the MLAs not to act in panic as there was no need for them to become worried. He reminded the legislators that the assembly can pass a resolution on Telangana only if it has the support of the majority of the people. He asked the people not to believe that something has gone wrong.
He was reacting to the reports that the student's organisations have called for a strike in Andhra and Rayalaseema region on Friday.
Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who received the resignations from dozens of MLAs from Andhra and Rayalaseema region throughout the day, was himself toying with the idea of submitting his resignation.
Reddy, who hails from Chittoor district in Rayalaseema region, was also not happy with the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to form separate Telangana state.
If he does so, it will further compound the political crisis in the state, as the state legislative assembly is currently in session.
Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu said that the Centre's nod for a separate Telangana was a 'hasty decision,' and alleged that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has pushed the state to a bad condition.
Even as the United Progressive Alliance government sought to cool down the passions in the Telangana region by announcing the initiation of the process to form Telangana state, the Congress government in the state was facing the threat of plunging into a serious crisis, as a large number of angry party Members of Legislative Assembly from coastal Andhra and Rayalseema region have started submitting their resignations to the Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy in protest against the proposed division of Andhra Pradesh.
On one hand, the Congress MLAs and MLCs from Telangana region lined up to thank the Chief Minister K Rosaiah for bringing the good news regarding the formation of Telangana state, the state legislative assembly was agog with the activities in the Andhra and Rayalseema camps of the Congress, with as many as 30 MLAs queuing up to submit their resignations.
The Congress Member of Parliament from Vijaywada Lagdapati Rajagopal has also announced his resignation from Lok Sabh and there were speculations of two more Congress MPs from the region quitting the Lok Sabha.
Some legislators of the Telugu Desam Party and the Praja Rajyam Party leaders from coastal Andhra have also joined the Congress legislators in sending in their resignations, taking the total number of such resignations to 90.
The Congress MLAs submitting their resignations include former ministers J C Diwakar Reddy, DL Ravindra Reddy, present minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Anam Vivekananda Reddy, E Pratap Reddy, Venkatram Reddy, Adi Narayana Reddy, Srikant Reddy, Gurunath Reddy, Shailajanath, Shahjehan, Jogi Ramesh, Veerasiva Reddy and K Nani.
TDP legislators whose names figure in the list of the legislators quitting the house include Devineni Umamaheshwara Rao, Amaranth Reddy, Pardhasarthy, P Keshav, K E Krishnamurthy, P Raghunatha Reddy.
Addressing a pres conference, TDP's Umamaheshwara Rao said that it was a conspiracy by the leaders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to divide Andhra Pradesh to decrease the political importance of the state at the national level.
He pointed out that two key Congress leaders in the decision M Veerappa Moily and P Chidambaram were from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu respectively.
"They have hatched a conspiracy to divide Andhra Pradesh as presently it has 42 Lok Sabha members, much more than the two other southern states," Umamaheshwara Rao said.
When asked that it was the stand of the TDP that it would extend support if the Congress governments move a resolution on Telangana in the state assembly, Umamaheshwara Rao said that the Central government couldn't decide on moving such a resolution without consulting the concerned legislators. "Have they consulted us," he asked, adding that it was not a peace of property to be divided on the occasion of the birth day of 'Amma.' (Sonia Gandhi)