Delhi/Hyderabad: The movement for separate statehood to
Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh entered a crucial phase Monday
with the mass resignations of MPs, state ministers and legislators
of the Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP). As a new crisis
loomed, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) held a
meeting in the evening over the issue.
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) spearheading the
statehood movement called for a 48-hour shutdown in Andhra Pradesh
On a day of fast-paced developments, seven MPs of the Congress
party from the region submitted their resignations to Lok Sabha
speaker Meira Kumar while Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao gave
his resignation to house Chairman Hamid Ansari. Two other MPs
faxed their quit letters.
The CCPA meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was
held at his 7, Race Course Road official residence in New Delhi,
government sources said.
The confabulation of the senior government functionaries came
shortly after 10 Congress members of parliament and 40 Congress
legislators, including 11 ministers, 33 TDP and two Praja Rajyam
Party legislators from the Telangana region resigned to bring
pressure on the central government to announce statehood.
Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar told reporters that two Lok Sabha
members, Madhu Goud Yaskhi and Suresh Shetkar, have faxed their
Another MP, Sarvey Satyanarayana, has refused to resign saying he
would do so only after Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy
quits. MP from Secunderabad Anjan Kumar Yadav is also reluctant to
In Hyderabad, 79 members of the assembly, including 11 ministers,
submitted their resignations, plunging the state into a crisis.
Four rebel TDP legislators had quit Sunday.
Those who resigned Monday include all 33 of TDP, 40 of Congress
and two of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).
Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha and three other
ministers have not resigned. The ministers who submitted their
resignations include Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy.
While five ministers personally submitted their resignations to
deputy speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, six others, including the
home minister, sent their papers.
In all, 10 legislators of the Congress party from Telangana are
yet to submit their resignations.
Speaker N. Manohar, who is in the US, will take a decision on the
resignations after his return. The resignations, if accepted, may
reduce the Congress government to minority.
In the 294-member assembly, the Congress has 174 members,
including 18 from the PRP, which merged with the ruling party
Telangana accounts for 119 legislators in the 294-member assembly.
The Congress has 52 members (including two of PRP), TDP 37 and
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) 11.
Senior Minister K. Jana Reddy told reporters that their
resignations were not aimed at creating a constitutional or
political crisis but to achieve a separate state in tune with the
aspirations of the people.
"Today is United States' Independence Day and we hope today will
also become Telangana's Independence Day," the minister said
outside the assembly building.
Jana Reddy, who later left for Delhi for talks with the central
leadership, claimed that their fight was for self-rule and
self-respect of the Telangana region.
Twelve Congress members of the legislative council and three of
TDP have also submitted their resignations to council chairperson
The legislators said the resignations were aimed at pressurising
the central government to carve out a separate Telangana state as
promised by it on Dec 9, 2009.
The Congress leaders resigned despite the efforts of the central
and state leadership of the party over last three days to dissuade
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi
that a final decision on the "extremely sensitive and complex"
issue was yet to be taken.
"The central government's view will be made known after the
consultation process is over. We have to bring everyone on board.
There is a strong view of a large number of people. We are yet to
take a final decision," Chidambaram told reporters.
"This is an extremely sensitive and complex issue. We will try to
expedite... One should have understanding and patience.
Especially, the media should have understanding and patience,"
Chidambaram said the government would convene an all-party meeting
immediately after the views of all parties are known. Two of the
parties have not yet finalised their views on the separate
statehood issue, he said.
The JAC, which is spearheading the Telangana movement, called for
a 48-hour Telangana shutdown beginning Tuesday.
TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao criticized Chidambaram for
reacting to the resignations in a casual manner. He announced that
the protest in the region would continue till the central
government agrees to initiate the process for formation of
JAC also called for rail blockade in Telangana on July 8 and 9 and
cook-and-eat protest on roads on July 10.