M A I N   N E W S

Telangana storm hits Cong as 8 MPs quit, 4 ministers ready to go
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Precipitating crisis in the Congress, which recently granted a separate state of Telangana, eight party MPs from the state today resigned in protest against the decision to divide Andhra, while four Cabinet ministers offered to quit before being persuaded by the Congress leadership to stay put “in the larger interest of the party”.

The Congress made it clear that the matter of resignations “would be settled” and indicated there was no going back on the Telangana statehood issue as had happened in 2009 when a spate of resignations from party leaders from Andhra had forced the Congress to go back on its announcement to form Telangana state.

Congress MPs — seven from the Lok Sabha and one from the Rajya Sabha — submitted their resignations today to TK Vishwanathan and SK Sheriff, secretary generals of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, respectively, because presiding officers Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari were both out of town.

Further, Cabinet Ministers MM Pallam Raju, D Purandeshwari, KS Rao and JD Seelam met Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh and “offered to quit” but were “persuaded to stay put in the larger interest of the party and ensure the Congress was not painted a villain as was happening now.”

Sources said the ministers shared their predicament with Digvijay Singh, saying that emotions were running high, exerting pressure on them to quit in sync with the sentiments of people. Pressure mounted today with five TDP MPs also submitting their resignations.

The ministers, sources said, were advised not to take the extreme step and in fact “work to contain the situation on the ground as opposition parties were using the occasion to vandalise Congress offices and statues of former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in the state”.

HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju admitted, “We offered to resign but the general secretary in charge counselled us to address the future concerns of our people by being in the Union Council of Ministers. He assured us that he will talk to the party leadership to form a high level committee to address our concerns.”

While the Congress has prevailed upon the Cabinet ministers to stay for the time being, it could not stop eight MPs from resigning. Technically, however, the resignations of MPs would be deemed to be accepted only when the LS Speaker and RS chairman are satisfied that these are voluntary and have not been made under duress.

Lok Sabha Congress MPs, who submitted their resignations, are Lagadapati Rajagopal from Vijayawada, A Sai Prathap from Rajampet, C V Harsha Kumar from Amalapuram, Anantha Venkatarami Reddy from Anantapur, Vundavalli Arun Kumar from Rajahmundry, SPY Reddy from Nandyal and Kanumuri Bapi Raju from Narsapuram. From the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP KVP Ramachandra Rao resigned.

Ministers meet Digvijay singh

* Cabinet Ministers MM Pallam Raju, D Purandeshwari, KS Rao and JD Seelam met Congress general secretary in charge of AP Digvijay Singh and offered to quit

* They said emotions were running high and pressure was mounting on them to quit in sync with the sentiments of the people

* They were, however, persuaded to stay put in the larger interest of the party





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