15 Seemandhra ministers, MPs threaten to quit

15 Seemandhra ministers, MPs threaten to quit

Fifteen ministers in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet from the Seemandhra region on Tuesday threatened to quit their posts over the creation of Telangana state.

Many MPs also warned of thwarting the bill on forming the new state after the Congress Working Committee decided to grant Telangana. The ministers submitted their letters to party president Sonia Gandhi when they met her on Monday.

“The letters signed by the ministers submitted to the party president still hold good. But the legislators  from Rayalaseema may chalk out their plan of action on Wednesday,” minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said at the Congress Legislature Party office here.

Many Congress MLAs are expected to reach the state capital and may submit their resignations. However, Sonia Gandhi tried to console the Union ministers from Seemandhra, saying that they had served the interests of the people and leaders from the two regions.

In contrast, the Telangana region celebrated the CWC announcement in favour of the separate state. Students of Osmania University welcomed the news by bursting crackers at the NCC gate, which had witnessed pitched battles with paramilitary forces for years.

 Telangana Bhavan, headquarters of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), wore a festive look with party workers chanting “Jai Telangana” and “Jai KCR” slogans and distributing sweets. Rallies were organised in Siddipet, Karimnagar and Warangal recalling the sacrifices of the students who committed suicide demanding Telangana state.

 The Telangana Joint Action Council, treading cautiously, urged people to reserve their celebrations till the bill was passed in Parliament.

The news was also welcomed all over Telangana towns, cities and Hyderabad. In Secunderabad, youngsters and political activists thronged Tank Bund and Necklace Road, which had been venues of Telangana agitation.  Theatres and disco joints organised songs and dance programmes.

Meanwhile, the TRS, which has been spearheading the Telangana agitation, reacted cautiously saying that it would continue its agitation till the bill for the separate state was introduced in Parliament. “We have our doubts about the nature of Telangana the Congress is offering. We will not accept Hyderabad as a common capital,” K Kesava Rao of the TRS said.

The police and paramilitary forces in Andhra Pradesh, especially in Seemandhra and Hyderabad, were on high alert following the decision on separate statehood to the Telangana region.

With the Congress decision to grant Telangana a bygone conclusion, security around many residences of Seemandhra ministers, industries and business houses was tightened.

More than 10 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Hyderabad, which has a huge chunk of population of people from Seemandhra.

Even though no untoward incident was reported from Coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema following the announcement of Telangana, more paramilitary forces were rushed to towns in Seemandhra to prevent any outbreak of violence.

The Centre has dispatched 1,000 personnel from paramilitary forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force and Indo Tibetan Border Police to the state, in addition to 1,200 personnel deployed last week.

The personnel rushed to the state include those mobilised from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Thousands of policemen from the Andhra Pradesh Special Police, Armed Reserve and the Special Protection Force have been deployed in all the nine districts of coastal Andhra and four districts of Rayalaseema.

The deployment is huge in towns like Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Eluru, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Tirupati, Kadapa, Anantapur and Kurnool.
The Union Home Ministry is in touch with state authorities to monitor the situation. The state has been directed to use, if necessary, the Central forces already deployed in the state for anti-Maoist operations.

The security personnel deployed for ongoing panchayat elections will be utilised for maintaining law and order. The deployment will continue even after third phase of panchayat polls on Wednesday.

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