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PHOTOS: Telangana nod triggers resignations, Seemandhra on edge

Last updated on: October 04, 2013 21:22 IST

Telangana nod triggers resignations, Seemandhra on edge

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Mohammad Siddique in Hyderabad

The first day of the 72-hour strike in Seemandhra regions called by anti-Telangana parties and organizations was marred by sporadic violence, including burning of a car of a district superintendent of police, forcing the Centre to rush in more paramilitary forces to the state.

The Centre's decision to create Telangana triggered a flurry of resignations by union ministers and MPs opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh

On a day of fiery agitation and demonstrations, the anti-Telangana protestors attacked state Congress President Botsa Satyanarayana’s house and college in Vizianagaram.

The situation worsened after the agitators set fire to the office of Satya Cables owned by Satyanarayana’s family. The agitators also tried to stop the fire tenders coming to control the fire.

The police used batons and tear gas shells to disperse the mob. 

Angry protestors, mostly students and the government employees later attacked the police vehicles. At least half a dozen police vehicles, camp office building of Satyanarayana were damaged in the stone pelting.

The agitators were demanding the resignation of Botsa as state transport minister and his wife’s resignation as member of Lok Sabha.

With Agency Inputs

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Image: Protests have erupted in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions after Cabinet nod on Telangana


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Telangana nod triggers resignations, Seemandhra on edge

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While the situation was taking a grim turn throughout the region, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy -- in his review meeting -- directed the police not to use force against the agitators and show restraint.

The chief minister told the police not to fire even rubber bullets as it can further aggravate the situation.

According to the sources in Director General of Police’s office, 20 more companies of CRPF were being sent to the state for deployment. This will be in addition to 45 companies already deployed.

HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, who on Thursday night held back his resignation, on Friday announced his decision to go ahead with it ignoring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's counsel not to take any hasty step.

Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy, MoS Railways and son of late Rayalaseema stalwart K Vijayabhaskar Reddy, also said he met the Prime Minister and gave his resignation. Dr Singh advised him against taking any "emotional step", according to him.

Other Ministers K Sambasiva Rao (Textiles), K Chiranjeevi (Tourism), D Purandeswari (MoS Commerce) and Killi Kruparani (MoS IT and Communications) are also understood to have resigned, according to their aides.

Congress MPs, who had already resigned from the Lok Sabha on Telangana issue, have now threatened to quit the party. They include R Sambasiva Rao, Ananta Venkatarami Reddy, Sabbam Hari and Vundavali Arun Kumar.

At a press conference in Delhi, Sambasiva Rao accused the Congress of doing injustice to Telugus and even praised BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

In Andhra Pradesh also, state Law Minister E Pratap Reddy met Governor and submitted his resignation. The resignations took place while Seemandhra region witnessed widespread protests and shutdown.

YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy announced an indefinite fast from tomorrow while former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu would begin fast-unto-death in Delhi from November 7.


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Image: Schoolgirls walk past a police barricade in Hyderabad
Photographs: Reuters

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Telangana nod triggers resignations, Seemandhra on edge

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Notwithstanding the resignations and protests in Seemandhra, the Congress said there was no question of backtracking while Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said such feelings were quite natural when a state is being carved out.

The 13 districts in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of the state, already witnessing protests for over two months, descended into chaos with supporters of united Andhra Pradesh taking to streets against the Centre's move.

The protestors blocked highways and railway tracks and forced closure of shops, business establishments as well as educational institutions.

The 48-hour shutdown called by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association and other pro-united Andhra outfits to protest the Centre's decision saw sporadic incidents of violence, including attacks on Congress party offices, as normal life was thrown out of gear.

Jaganmohan Reddy has given a separate call for a 72-hour shutdown.

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Image: Policemen deployed outside Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Kumar Reddy's office
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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Telangana nod triggers resignations, Seemandhra on edge

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Pallam Raju told reporters in Delhi that "Yesterday, I met the Prime Minister and offered to resign. He told me not to take a hasty decision. I have thought over it last night. I have decided that I should resign from the Union Council of Ministers".

He said he has sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to hand over the resignation.

Raju, elected from Kakinada in Seemandhra region, has been strongly opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh and has been critical of the way the government was going about on the issue.

R S Rao, Lok Sabha member from Guntur, said he has faxed his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker.

He said he is contemplating meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and resigning from the primary membership of the party.

Shinde described the protests in Seemandhra region against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as quite natural, saying wherever a new state is carved out, such feelings are bound to come.

"We will take them into confidence. We will try our level best. After all, wherever there is bifurcation of any state, such feelings are there. It is natural. No one can avoid these. But we have to console them. We will try to console them," he said.


Image: Pro-Telangana supporters celebrate after the Cabinet's decision on Thursday night
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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