Textiles minister Rao resigns

After enjoying power to the end, Textiles Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao on Thursday announced his resignation from the Union Council of Ministers to protest the decision to carve out Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh.

It is learnt that Rao, who represents Eluru Parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha, was mulling joining either the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Rao said he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handed over his resignation. A vociferous critic Telangana, Rao was inducted into the Cabinet in June last year in an apparent attempt to appease the leader who has been with the party for more than 30 years.

“I am not contesting this election on behalf of the Congress party,” he said.

The veteran leader had a meeting with BJP President Rajnath Singh on Thursday but said it had nothing to do with his joining the opposition party. The BJP is in talks with the TDP for an alliance in Andhra Pradesh.

If he joins the BJP, Rao would be the second Union Minister to do so. Earlier, Union Minister of State D Purandeshwari had joined the BJP. In his resignation letter, Rao said that he could not continue to be a member of the Council of Ministers against his conscience knowing that the government has caused “irreparable damage” to the state.

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