A day after the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned from his post and from the Congress on Wednesday. Flanked by eight Cabinet colleagues and some loyal MLAs, an emotional Reddy said he had also quit as MLA.
After speaking to the media, Reddy, 53, drove to Raj Bhawan and submitted his resignation to Governor E S L Narasimhan. “I am pained by the division of Telugus like this for the sake of votes and seats. I am pained that I could not prevent bifurcation of the state in this manner,’’ Reddy said.
He accused the Congress leadership of colluding with the BJP to ensure that the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill, 2014, was passed, brushing aside all rules and democratic norms. “It was a deal between the Congress and BJP to pass the Bill against the interests of all Telugu-speaking people,’’ said Reddy.
Asked about his future plans and whether he would launch a new party, Reddy said, “I am not concerned about the future or political career or a new party here. These are not at stake. I have quit because the interest of the Telugu people on both sides of this division is at stake. I take exception to the unilateral manner in which the party leadership went ahead with the bifurcation, without heeding so many requests and pleas.’’
He said, “It is not easy for me to quit the Congress with which I have been associated since 1962. This party gave me the post of Chief Minister and I am thankful for that. It was a difficult decision but I am compelled to quit as the party divided the state without properly involving all the Telugu people. They have hurt the Telugu people and have made their future dark. I am not against the wishes of the Telangana people, but dividing the state will cause so many disputes regarding irrigation, power, employment and in so many other sectors.”
He said he had requested the Governor to make alternative arrangements immediately as he did not wish to continue in the CM’s post any longer. “I don’t even want to be the caretaker,’’ said Reddy.
“The decision to bifurcate the state of Andhra Pradesh, the first linguistic state in the country, unsupported by any policy, for no stated reason, rejected by the State Legislature, without following any conventions, laid-out procedures and not in conformity with the constitutional provisions, is patently arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional, more so in the absence of any consensus among the people of the state,” said Reddy in his resignation letter.
“I am disillusioned with the disrespect the Union government and Lok Sabha have shown to the state, its Legislature and the people by suspending public representatives from Andhra Pradesh and not providing an opportunity to any one of them to express their views. The manner in which the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha reflects the new depths to which our parliamentary institutions have sunk,” said the letter.