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Political crisis rocks AP
100 MLAs quit over statehood to Telangana
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

N Chandrababu Naidu, TDP presidentThe Centre’s decision is unilateral and arbitrary. It did not consult anyone and there was no consensus-building exercise. I condemn it.
N Chandrababu Naidu, TDP president

K Rosaiah, AP Chief Minister
We will consult everyone before introducing the resolution. It will be passed only if a majority of the members extend their support.
K Rosaiah, AP Chief Minister

Hyderabad, December 10
Andhra Pradesh today plunged into a crisis following a spate of resignations by MPs and MLAs, across the political spectrum, in protest against the Centre’s decision to grant statehood to the Telangana region.

Strongly opposing the division of the state, non-Telangana MPs and legislators quit their positions and vowed to strive for keeping the state united.

A day after the UPA government bowed to the demand of fasting Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao and announced initiation of the process for Telangana formation, dramatic developments unfolded in the state, taking the ruling Congress by surprise.

As many as 100 MLAs in the 294-member Assembly submitted their resignations to Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy. They included 58 Congress MLAs, 29 from the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and 13 from the Praja Rajyam Party headed by actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi.

The resignations reflected the mood of the people from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra region, who are opposed to the bifurcation of the state. If the resignations are accepted, the Congress government will be reduced to a minority as it has only 156 MLAs, just eight more than the half-way mark.

“I will speak to them individually before taking a decision as per the established practice,” the Speaker said. He had not set any time frame in that regard, he added. Three ministers, P Vishwaroop, P Subash Chandra Bose and S Mohan Reddy, and Government Whip Dr Sailajanath also submitted their resignations. The midnight announcement of the Centre’s decision on Telangana was greeted with bewilderment by the people in the other two regions. As the day wore on, protesters hit the streets and a bandh was called in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra tomorrow.

Stung by the developments, Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who hails from coastal Andhra, assured the agitated public representatives that the proposed resolution on Telangana would be introduced in the Assembly only after building a consensus. “We will consult everyone before introducing the resolution. It will be passed only if a majority of the members extend their support,” the Chief Minister said adding that the Congress high command was closely monitoring the developments.

He advised the legislators and the MPs not to get carried away by emotions and quit their positions. He called an emergency cabinet meeting in the evening to take stock of the situation and discuss measures to ensure that the present unrest did not spiral out of hand.

Meanwhile, the ruling party MLAs and MLCs from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions decided to step up the campaign to protect the unified status of the state. They decided not to participate in the Assembly proceedings from tomorrow. The entire Rayalaseema and cities like Visakhapatna, Vijayawada and Machlipatnam would observe a bandh tomorrow.

In their resignation letters, a section of MLAs wrote that they were quitting as a mark of protest against the Centre’s decision to divide the state. Another section said that they were resigning as their opinion was not taken into consideration by the Centre before it announced such a major decision. Scores of Congress leaders quit their posts in municipalities and zila parishad bodies.

On being asked when the Assembly would take up the Telangana resolution, the Chief Minister said, “I am yet to receive a written communication from the high command. Once I get it, I will act accordingly.”

TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, who till last night dared the Congress to table the resolution and assured his party’s support to it, criticised the UPA government for its “hasty and unilateral decision” on Telangana.

Naidu said his party MLAs did not consult him before resigning. “The state is in a crisis. The Centre’s decision is unilateral and arbitrary. It did not consult anyone and there was no consensus-building exercise. The Congress is wholly responsible for this situation and I condemn it,” the TDP leader said.

Meanwhile, protests rocked all universities across Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. The examinations scheduled in Sri Krishna Devaraya University, Anatapur, have been postponed. 




PC invites Rao to Delhi for talks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
With the Opposition today asking the government to explain how it proposed to create a separate Telangana state, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said he had invited Telangana Rashtriya Samiti chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao to the capital to hold discussions on the matter.

“Rao spoke to me this morning and thanked all sections of the House for resolving the issue. I have invited him to Delhi to discuss the next step,” said the minister in the Rajya Sabha, with leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee assuring the Lok Sabha that all due processes for the creation of a state would be followed in case of Telangana.

Assuaging BJP concerns in the RS on his announcement outside the House last night on the Centre’s decision to initiate the creation of Telengana, Chidambaram said when Venkaiah Nadu raised the issue yesterday, the government was still in consultation and could not respond.

When the consultations were completed late at night, we couldn’t brook delay in making the announcement, said the Home Minister, after the BJP raised the issue twice-first during question hour and later in zero hour.

The BJP, on its part, accused the government of undermining the Parliament’s dignity by making the Telengana announcement outside. In the Lok Sabha, Mukherjee, responding to queries from the Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, Pranab said that due processes would be followed to create a separate Telangana state.

“You are aware of the process of formation of separate states. All processes will be followed,” Pranab said, adding that the government was “appreciative” of the TRS leader’s decision to end his fast.



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