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Strife in Congress over Telangana; Andhra leaders meet CM

Sources said Kiran Kumar Reddy, who himself is opposed to the bifurcation of the state, may consider resigning if the proposal goes through.

Published: 29th July 2013 08:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2013 09:06 PM   |  A+A-

Andhra_protest_EPS
By PTI

Congress leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, who are opposed to creation of Telangana, held a closed door meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Monday.

A source said that Reddy, who himself is opposed to the bifurcation, may consider resigning if the proposal goes through.

Ministers T G Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, MP Ananta Venkatarami Reddy and a few MLAs and MLCs held a meeting with the CM at the Secretariat this afternoon to discuss the emerging political scenario.

The Central Working Committee of the Congress is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Tuesday to take a final call on the contentious issue.

As he would leave for New Delhi on Tuesday, there was talk in the Secretariat on Monday that the Chief Minister could indeed put in his papers if the Congress decided to divide the state.

"That's a certainty," a minister said without going into details.

"No decision has been taken yet (by the high command).

We hope they will not take an overnight decision," Venkatesh told reporters after the meeting.

"If (TDP chief) Chandrababu Naidu and (YSRC honorary president) Vijayamma give a single line letter that they are for a unified state, we will see that nothing happens," Venkatesh said.

He hastened to add that onus was more on Union Cabinet ministers and MPs from Andhra-Rayalaseema to prevent division of the state.

Venkatesh said all state ministers gave a letter to the high command stating they would not continue in their posts if a decision to divide the state was taken.

"Our resignation is not an issue but keeping Andhra Pradesh united is. If at all the state is divide it will create new problems and demands. Already, the demand for Gorkhaland has started," he pointed out, referring to the 72-hour bandh call given in the region.

"Similar demands will come up in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir...," he added.

MLA Veera Siva Reddy and MLC Rudraraju Padma Raju wanted the Union ministers and MPs from Seemandhra region to resign forthwith to prevent bifurcation of AP.

Anticipating a backlash for the party in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions in the event of a division, the Congress leaders sought to push the blame onto the TDP and the YSR Congress.

"No decision has been taken yet but if indeed the state is divided, the TDP and the YSRC should be held responsible," they maintained.

Asked if they would abide by their high command's decision, they remained evasive saying the decision "is yet to be taken".

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