T-mess: Ministers to quit, 4 MPs leave Cong

T-mess: Ministers to quit, 4 MPs leave Cong

At least six Union ministers have decided to quit and four Congress MPs have given up their party membership after the UPA government decided to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh and create Telangana state.

The 48-hour bandh threw life out of gear in the Seemandhra region.

HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, Textiles Minister K S Rao and Minister of State for Communication Killi Kruparani have announced their decision to quit, while Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi, Minister of State for Commerce D Purandeshwari and Minister of State for Railways Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy said they have sent their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office maintained till late in the evening that it has not received any resignation.

The ministers continued to enjoy the perks of office even as Seemandhra seethed with anger over the decision.

Samaikyandhra agitators on Friday targeted properties of Congress leaders and offices of political parties in almost all 13 districts of the Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions.

People from all walks of life participated in a general strike called by the Joint Action Committee of Employees and the YSR Congress’ (YSRC) 72-hour bandh.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from Vijayawada, Vizianagaram, Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the law and order situation in the state with in-charge DGP Prasada Rao, the home secretary and senior police officers on Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Pallam Raju on Friday said: “I have thought it over last night. I have decided that I should resign from the Union Council of Ministers.” Raju said he had sought an appointment with the prime minister.

The HRD minister met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and apprised her of his disappointment with the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Congress MP from Guntur, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, is likely to join four MPs — A Sai Pratap (Rajampet), Anant Venkatarami Reddy (Anantapur), Vundavalli Aruna Kumar (Rajahmundry) and Sabbam Hari (Anakapalle) — who had resigned from the party’s primary membership.

Rao said he was planning to meet Gandhi. It is a do-or-die situation for Congress leaders from Seemandhra, where the YSRC is likely to benefit from the decision to split the state.

Political observers said the Congress would find it difficult to maintain its presence in the region as the YSRC was expected to sweep the elections whenever they are held.

Responding to the protests in Seemandhra, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said:
“Wherever a new state is carved out, such feelings are bound to happen. 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.” The home minister added, “It is natural. No one can avoid these. But we have to console them. We will try to console them.”

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