Coastal AP-Rayalaseema mins, MLAs to meet on Feb 16

Coastal AP-Rayalaseema mins, MLAs to meet on Feb 16

Union Ministers, MPs, state ministers and legislators from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh will meet at Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s camp residence here on February 16 to chalk out their future course of action, including possible en masse resignation against the proposed bifurcation of the state.

State Ministers T G Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy, Pitani Satyanarayana, S Sailajanath, MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao and a few MLAs met the Chief Minister separately here today and discussed the latest developments.

"We have decided to meet at the CM's camp residence on the 16th to chalk out our future course of action. Resignation is one of the options being considered by us," Venkatesh told reporters after the meeting with Kiran this afternoon.

The Congress leaders from Seemaandhra were also planning to hold another round of protest in New Delhi on February 18 or 19 when the AP Reorganisation Bill was expected to come up before Parliament, he added.

Sources said the Chief Minister, majority of the state ministers and legislators from Seemaandhra may resign en masse from their posts and also the party on February 17 to step up pressure on the Congress high command against the bifurcation.

Though the Union Ministers, the MPs and even some state ministers suggested that the Chief Minister wait till February 21, the last day of Parliament, for stepping down, Kiran was said to have expressed his resolve to put in his papers on February 17 itself.

But Kiran has not yet made up his mind on floating a new political party upon leaving the Congress, the sources pointed out.

Meanwhile, Kiran and his colleagues are keenly following the statements being issued by national leaders of the BJP on the state bifurcation issue.

They are apparently pinning their hopes on the BJP to not back the AP Reorganisation Bill, particularly after the likes of L K Advani wanted the Centre not to take up any other Bill except the vote-on-account given the acrimony over the state's division.

"BJP is our last hope now. Many of its top leaders are opposing the manner in which the Congress is seeking to push the Bill through but we do hope they will not back in the present form," a senior minister noted.

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