Two more Seemandhra ministers quit in protest

Two more Seemandhra ministers quit in protest

Two ministers from the Seemandhra region resigned on Monday in protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh (AP). Meanwhile, a defiant Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reiterated his support for a united AP. There are indications that more ministers might follow suite.

Investment and Infrastructure Minister G Srinivasa Rao and Law Minister E Pratap Reddy met Governor E S L Narasimhan and submitted their resignation letters in protest against the Congress Working Committee’s (CWC) decision to carve out Telangana state. Two more ministers, P Viswaroop and K Venkata Krishna Reddy, are said to be keen on quitting.

The governor told the ministers that as per the procedure, he could consider the resignation letters only after it was forwarded to him by the chief minister. Before meeting the governor, the two ministers, along with Viswaroop and Venkata Krishna Reddy, met the chief minister who advised them against taking any hasty decision. Reddy, a strong votary of united AP, advised his colleagues to wait for an opportune moment when a “collective decision” could be taken by the elected representatives of the Seemandhra region. However, the ministers turned down his plea and proceeded to Raj Bhavan.

All ministers from the Seemandhra region had submitted their resignation letters to the chief minster last month. They had signed a unanimous resolution demanding the Congress leadership to reverse its decision. The chief minister is yet to take a decision on their resignation. As the anti-bifurcation stir across 13 districts in Seemandhra entered the 33rd day, pressure is mounting on the MLAs and MPs from the region to quit.

Reddy, who is from Chittoor district in the Rayalaseema region, is opposed to the division of the state and had warned the party leadership that it would lead to intractable disputes over sharing of river waters, power and the status of Hyderabad.
Political circles are abuzz with speculation that Reddy may resign in October when the process of Telangana state formation will be set in motion. Sources close to him say that he is not willing to preside over the division process, given his strong views on the issue. The chief minister, while interacting with a delegation of farmers from Ananthapur district at his camp office on Monday, conveyed his anger and anguish over the CWC decision.

He said that the central leadership should make an in-depth study of all the problems , especially those concerning the farmers for their irrigation needs in Rayalaseema region.

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