Finally, reality sinks in for Seemandhra Congress leaders - The New Indian Express

Finally, reality sinks in for Seemandhra Congress leaders

Published: 04th October 2013 08:33 AM

Last Updated: 04th October 2013 08:33 AM

After failing to prevail upon the party leadership to slow down the process of formation of the Telangana state, Congress lawmakers from Seemandhra have finally started to put in their papers.

MPs Vundavalli Arun Kumar, Ananta Venkatarami Reddy and A Sai Pratap quit the party whereas Union ministers Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, MM Pallam Raju, K Chiranjeevi and Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy resigned from their posts.  The moment the Cabinet decision was out, Rajahmundry MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar announced his resignation from the party, becoming the first Parliamentarian from Seemandhra to bid adieu to Congress in protest against bifurcation of the State. Though the resignations of A Venkatarami Reddy and Sai Pratap are expected as they are said to be planning to join Jagan’s YSRC, Arun Kumar’s decision has surprised many as he had been the party’s loyalist for decades. Soon after putting in his papers, he said he had done so to express his anguish over the party high command’s indifference to the two-month long agitation in Seemandhra.

Terming the Cabinet decision undemocratic, Arun Kumar said he had served the Congress for over 40 years but felt his membership in the party was coming in the way of taking part in the Samaikyandhra agitation. He claimed the Telangana process will not go beyond the Cabinet decision as the T resolution was bound to be defeated in the State Assembly whenever it is introduced. 

Sources said Union ministers Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, MM Pallam Raju, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and K Chiranjeevi had faxed their resignations to the Prime Minister’s Office soon after the Cabinet meeting.

In fact, the Union ministers, state ministers and Congress MPs and MLAs from Seemandhra, who were already in a spot of bother due to the ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation, were taken aback by the sudden decision of the Centre to speed up the T process.

Ananta Venkatarami Reddy said more number of MPs will resign. “The T decision is unilateral. Nobody can continue in a party where there is no democracy,” he said.  MP Lagadapati Rajagopal said he would challenge the Centre’s decision in the court of law. MP GV Harsha Kumar termed the decision a fraud on the people of Seemandhra. “Cabinet approval is only a step in the process. The process can be stopped in Parliament. So, I urge my fellow MPs not to resign in haste,” he said.

Though there was no official reaction from Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, State ministers, who met him late in the night, revealed that he had advised them to wait till the T resolution in the Assembly was defeated. Minister Ghanta Srinvasa Rao said October 3 would go down in the history of Telugu people as a black day.

Another minister TG Venkatesh said, “It is very unfortunate that our party leadership refused to take cognizance of the ongoing movement in Seemandhra. We will express our disapproval in Assembly by voting against the T resolution. We are even deciding to quit the party.” Minister K Parthasaradhi also expressed a similar opinion. Earlier in the day, the Seemandhra Congress lawmakers held an emergency meeting ahead of the Union Cabinet nod to the T note. But, utter chaos prevailed as differences cropped up among them. On the other hand, Telangana Congress leaders expressed happiness and thanked party president Sonia Gandhi for fulfilling their dream of having their own state.

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