One Congress legislator and 16 YSRC MLAs claimed they had resigned from their Assembly posts on Thursday.
They said separately that they had faxed their resignation letters to Speaker N Manohar, protesting against the “unilateral” moves of the Congress high command to divide the state.
Reports emanating from Delhi that the Congress high command has decided to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh are said to have prompted them to take this extreme step.
The resignations came a day ahead of the crucial meeting of the Congress core committee, slated for Friday. It was Congress MLA G Veerasiva Reddy (Kamalapuram), who set the ball rolling by putting in his papers on Thursday morning.
Reddy resigned from the Assembly as well as Congress party in protest against his party’s reported decision to form Telangana state.
However, Veerasiva Reddy’s decision did not evoke any similar response from his peers. Interestingly, soon after Reddy had put in his papers, four ministers from Seemandhra--Sake Sailajanath, TG Venkatesh, Erasu Prathap Reddy and Kondru Murali Mohan--stated categorically that no minister from Seemandhra was contemplating quitting.
“We will hold a meeting in Delhi on Friday with Seemandhra MPs of the party and Union ministers from the region to chalk out an action plan on how to persuade the AICC leadership to keep the state as it is. But, we will abide by the final decision of our party high command,” the ministers said.
Though Veerasiva’s act failed to attract other Congress MLAs from Seemandhra to follow in his footsteps, as many as 16 MLAs of the YSRC have taken the cue from him and claimed that they too had quit their posts in support of United Andhra.
The move by YSRC flock is seen as an attempt to use the political situation in its favour in Seemandhra where its performance in the ongoing panchayat polls has not been up to expectations.
On the flip side, the small political base that the YSRC has got in the T-region is likely to be completely eroded in the wake of this resignations saga.However, sources revealed to Express that none of these MLAs actually sent their resignations to the Speaker on Thursday as claimed by them.
TJAC blames CM: Meanwhile, as Veerasiva Reddy is considered a close aide of chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, TJAC chairman Prof M Kodandaram blamed Kiran for the resignations. He alleged that Seemandhra lawmakers were trying to stall the T-process by putting in their papers only under the guidance of Kiran Reddy.
Against this backdrop, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, before leaving for Delhi on Thursday evening to meet his party top brass there, made it clear that his party was going to spell out its stance on the T-issue. Hence, he called upon the rank and file to abide by whatever decision the party high command takes.
Interestingly, before taking the Delhi flight, the PCC boss met deputy chief minister C Damodar Rajanarasimha at latter’s residence here and confabulated with him. Panchayat raj minister K Jana Reddy was also present at the meeting.
The meeting assumes significance as there is a talk that the three are trying for the ouster of Kiran Reddy from chief minister’s post so as to put in place another leader who is acceptable to leaders of all regions, at the time of transition from AP to two states.
T-heat in Delhi:
On the other hand, ministers from either side of the divide have decided to be in Delhi on Friday so as to put in last-ditch efforts to persuade their leadership in their favour.
Meanwhile, Kiran Reddy, Rajanarasimha and Botcha will meet party top brass in Delhi on Friday much before the core group meeting to hear the final word of their high command on the T-issue.