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Telangana war: Cong MLAs ask MPs to quit

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 14, 2009 21:58 IST
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Congress Members of Legislative Assembly from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra on Monday decided to mount pressure on Members of Parliament from the regions to quit their posts and fight against the proposed division of Andhra Pradesh.

The MLAs met under the leadership of Lagadapati Rajagopal, who resigned from the Parliament, and senior leader J C Diwakar Reddy, in the assembly committee hall on Monday evening and were of the view that efforts being put in by the MPs from the two regions in New Delhi were proving "inadequate".

"You all should step down from your posts and step up the fight against the bifurcation of the state," one of the MLAs said.

According to the MLAs, they were watching the developments in New Delhi very keenly and their future course of action would depend on the high command's decision.

Two MLAs of the Praja Rajyam Party and some Congress Members of Legislative Council too attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Rosaiah urged ministers from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to exercise restraint and to abide by the decision taken by the party high command.

Earlier in the day, 20 ministers had decided to withdraw their resignations from the Cabinet, after Rosaiah informed them that he was rejecting it.

Rajagopal, who was supposed to launch an indefinite hunger strike in Hyderabad on Monday against the division, was taken into preventive custody soon after his arrival in Hyderabad from New Delhi.

On the instructions of Rosaiah, Rajagopal was set free in the afternoon and the two met at the former's residence along with Diwakar Reddy.

Rosaiah requested Rajagopal not to flare up the issue by sitting on a fast.

"The situation is already tense. Why should you aggravate it?" Rosaiah reportedly told Rajagopal and asked him to drop the move.

Later, the Lok Sabha MP said Rosaiah told him that the resolution on Telangana could not be tabled in the assembly, as the House was adjourned abruptly in view of the en masse resignation of MLAs from Andhra and Rayalaseema.

Rajagopal then gave up the plan to launch an indefinite fast "temporarily". However, he told the MLAs and MLCs at the meeting this evening that he would mobilise about a lakh people on Tuesday to launch a fast.

The MLAs and MLCs will assembly at the statue of Potti Sriramulu, who laid down his life for the formation of Andhra state, and pay homage before taking up their fast.

Meanwhile, Congress MLAs from Telangana met on Monday afternoon and passed a resolution thanking All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi for initiating the process for creation of a Telangana state. They decided to organise a felicitation meet in Hyderabad for Sonia Gandhi here on December 16.

Speaking after the meeting, former home minister K Jana Reddy appealed to the MLAs from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to take back their resignations.

"It's a hard-fought victory for people of Telangana after many decades. Please do not create problems for a separate state. Also, do not make any comments that will spread hatred among people of different regions," he appealed to the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

On the other hand, Telugu Desam Party MLAs from Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana met separately to chalk out a course of action.

The Telangana TDP MLAs threatened to split the party if it went back on its promise of supporting statehood for Telangana.

"Our party is committed to Telangana. We will launch the Telangana Telugu Desam if the TDP does not keep its promise on a separate state," senior MLA Errabilli Dayakar Rao said.

The Andhra and Rayalaseema MLAs said they would step up the agitation against the division of the state. They too demanded all MPs from the regions step down from their posts immediately in support of a unified Andhra Pradesh.
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