The decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh has "zero" electoral prospects and it will be a "death blow" to the Congress, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has claimed.
"Electoral prospects are zero. It is going to be a death blow to the Congress in Andhra Pradesh for a very long time. They (PM and Sonia) have not understood the problem, which is hurting me. They have not understood why we are rebelling so much in spite of being loyal Congressmen for 20-25 years," Reddy said during a TV interview.
He was replying to a question on how serious a mistake Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have committed by proposing to divide the state.
"We have rejected the President's reference in both the Houses. It is unfortunate that the central leaders and others want to present it in Parliament. We are protesting to highlight the issue and we are asking and requesting them to respect it," Reddy said.
Reddy also said he was prepared for any eventuality, including resigning from his post to keep the state united.
"Resignation, power or chief ministership is not bigger to me than the will of the people. The will of the people is that they want to be united," he said.
The party is bigger than any individual but people are bigger than the party and the sentiments of the people have to be respected, he said.
"The CM’s post does not bother me. I am not a permanent chief minister. I am the 16th chief minister here. There will be a 17th, a 18th and 20th chief minister. I don't want my state to be divided. When I took up the fight for a united state, I prepared for everything and took it up. I know what I am doing. I know the will of the people. I am reflecting the will of the people to them," he added.
Reddy said that he has been a legislator for 20 years and whatever he was today, it was because of Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi.
Asked whether he had revolted against the prime minister and the Congress president, he said that his actions didn’t amount to "defiance".
"It was done to highlight the issue that when a state has rejected the division, the central government or political parties should not take it up." the chief minister said.
"It was a decision taken by the state government. We are requesting the Parliament and all other parties including mine to respect the decision of the assembly," he said.
Reddy claimed that there is no Bill in the country, especially on reorganisation, which has been rejected by the concerned state.
On asked if he was prepared to paralyse the Parliament to stall the Bill, he said that one has to understand why the state is being divided. He said that the division of Andhra Pradesh should be for the welfare of people and both the regions should benefit.
"I am not a member of Parliament. The Parliament members in their own way will try to save the state. I am against anything which is Unparliamentary. Yes, I am against paralysing the Parliament. But the people of both the areas are going to suffer tremendously in power, education, then why are you doing it? What is the advantage of dividing the state?" he said.
Asked about the resignation and formation of a separate party, Reddy said that he was not alone and one of the options before him was stepping down.
"We will discuss and take an appropriate step. I will take an appropriate step when the time comes. Do not link the state’s future with a political party. My future is not important. What is important to me is the future of the people," he said.
"There are 70-80 MLAs and MPs, all of us will discuss the issue. One of the options is to resign. After that I would not like to speculate on anything. I have grown up in Hyderabad and studied here. After 53 years you are saying we do not belong here. That is hurting us and the people," he added.