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Telangana pushes AP into chaos
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, December 25
The en masse resignation of ministers from Telangana region today pushed Andhra Pradesh into a state of chaos even as the statehood movement appeared set for a prolonged and bitter phase.

Demanding a specific time-frame for formation of Telangana state, all 13 ministers from the region, comprising nine districts and Hyderabad, sent their resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“The statehood goal is more important for us than ministerial posts,” Major Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah said.

In a joint letter, they said they were quitting as the latest statement by Home Minister P Chidambaram on the issue lacked clarity and had led to confusion among people.

The ministers, who are coming under increasing pressure from people in their constituencies to quit, met Chief Minister K Rosaiah and conveyed their decision to him.

The Chief Minister, however, advised his colleagues to reconsider their decision as they had collective responsibility and accountability to the people. Any precipitating action on their part would make matters worse for the government, he cautioned.

The unrelenting ministers also resigned from the Assembly. The government’s Chief Whip in the Assembly M Bhatti Vikramarka also quit his post.

According to political observers, the state was headed towards constitutional crisis in the wake of the resignations, raising the prospects of President’s rule. Cutting across party lines, as many as 64 legislators from Telangana have so far submitted their resignations. There are 119 members from the region in the 294-member Assembly.

Meanwhile, the spectre of indefinite bandh loomed large over the region as the proposal was mooted at a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising representatives from the ruling Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samihti (TRS) and rebels of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).

TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao , who has been spearheading the statehood movement, suggested that the Centre be asked to clarify its stand on Telangana by Monday, failing which a call for indefinite bandh be given.

However, a final decision would be taken later.

In another interesting development, Opposition TDP decided against joining the JAC. Instead, the TDP leaders said they would carry out the agitation on their own.

TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu, however, remained evasive when asked about his party’s stand on the statehood issue. “The Congress has created the mess and it alone has to sort it out,” he said.

He also launched a tirade against TRS chief saying he had masterminded the attack on TDP MLAs when they visited Osmania University campus here to express solidarity with the agitating students.

“The attackers clearly admitted that they were followers of K Chandrasekhar Rao. What more evidence does one want?” Naidu wondered.

Meanwhile, situation remained tense across Telangana, dampening Christmas spirit.

Additional forces, including paramilitary forces, airlifted from other states were deployed at Osmania University and other parts of Hyderabad and Telangana districts to maintain law and order.



No dilution of stand on Telangana: Moily
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
As the political crisis in Andhra Pradesh deepened with 13 Congress ministers from Telangana sending their resignation to Sonia Gandhi, the Centre today tried to pacify them by saying it had “not diluted” its stand on the statehood issue.

Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, in-charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, said the Union government had not diluted its stand on Telangana.

“It were only other political parties in Andhra Pradesh that have taken a U-turn on the statehood issue after promising to support a resolution in the state Assembly favouring bifurcation of the state,” he said.

“The Union government is not a monarchy. We have to set in the democratic process and that is possible only through consultations and the government of India is always willing to be a facilitator,” he said apparently in response to the criticism from Telangana activists that the Centre had put the issue on the backburner in the name of consultations.

Congress MPs from the Telanganaregion , who faxed their resignations to party president

Sonia Gandhi yesterday, welcomed Moily's statement and said the Centre should announce a time frame for the formation of the state.

Moily's remarks came a day after 66 legislators and 13 MPs from various parties, including Congress, announced their resignations to protest the Centre's Wednesday’s announcement that wide-ranging consultations were needed on the Telangana issue.

The Congress MPs had yesterday met Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and told him that the party should clarify "doubts" arising out of the Home Minister's statement.

The MPs also conveyed to Patel about the ground situation in the Telangana region and insisted on a fresh statement expressing government's commitment to Telangana as last night's announcement had created “doubts”.

After the meeting, one of the delegation members, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, said that Patel assured them that there would be no deviation on party's stand on Telangana and “there is no going back”.



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