Hours after Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Vizag MP D Purandewari resigned from the Congress and the council of ministers in protest of the division of Andhra Pradesh. Sources said Purandeswari faxed her resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Vijayawada Congress MP Lagadapti Rajagopal, who used a pepper spray last week when Telangana Bill was being introduced in Lok Sabha, also announced his resignation from the Lower House and said he is quitting politics altogether. Sources said some of the other ministers from Seemandhra too may step down.
In Andhra, Law Minister Erasu Pratap Reddy, Infrastructure & Investments and Ports Minister G Srinivasa Rao, Secondary Education Minister Erasu Pratap Reddy and R&B and Social Welfare Minister Pithani Satyanarayana resigned Tuesday evening. They sent their resignations to CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Speaker N Manohar. The CM has called a press meet at 10:30 am Wednesday where he is likely to announce whether he resigns or continues. He has also sought an appointment with Governor E S L Narasimahan at 12 pm.
Soon after Lok Sabha passed the Bill, YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu attacked the Congress. “Even in a country like Pakistan, this type of democratic violation does not take place. Congress president Sonia Gandhi resorted to this act acting like a dictator. I wonder whether we are staying in a democracy anymore. In the past, we talked about Hitler as a dictator but now we have to call Sonia the dictator,” Jagan said. He called for a bandh in Seemandhra Wednesday.
“Today is a black day in the history of this country. The Lok Sabha live telecast was cut off. The doors were closed. People who were to represent the interests of Seemandhra were suspended. The introduction of the Bill was done undemocratically and against the will of the Assembly and the people of Andhra Pradesh,” he added.
Naidu, on the other hand, said he tried his best to prevent the bifurcation and called the passage of the Bill unfortunate. He accused the YSR Congress and the Congress of indulging in a game of match-fixing to divide the state.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.