Forty-two Congress and 34 TDP MLAs resigned from the Andhra Pradesh assembly to press their demand for a separate Telangana state on Monday,pushing the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government into a crisis. In Delhi,nine Lok Sabha MPs from the region and one Rajya Sabha MP resigned their seats in Parliament.
Among those who resigned in Hyderabad were 11 ministers from the region. The speaker is currently abroad,and the MLAs submitted their resignations to his deputy. No immediate decision was taken,but assembly sources said most resignations were not in the correct format,and were likely to be rejected.
Should the resignations be accepted,however,the government will fall. The Congress has 155 members in the 294-member house,including 50 MLAs from Telangana. The TDP has 36 MLAs from the region; the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has 11.
The Congress MLAs who resigned include three from the Praja Rajyam Party,which merged with the Congress recently. While Congress MLAs had announced their decision to resign beforehand,the resignation of TDP MLAs came as a surprise.
In Delhi,union minister S Jaipal Reddy,Malkajgiri MP Sarvey Sathyanarayana,Secunderabad MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP Hanumantha Rao did not join the 10 MPs who resigned from parliament.
They resisted pressure from party colleagues arguing that they would go by the decision of the Congress high command,it was learnt. Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi,who had faxed his resignation to Speaker Meira Kumar,arrived in the capital today,and will meet her tomorrow.
No Congress leader,including AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh,Ghulam Nabi Azad,reached out to the rebel MPs,though the party leadership was learnt to have called some ministers and MLAs from the state to New Delhi.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said the government was yet to take a final decision,and counselled patience on the extremely sensitive and complex issue. Official sources said that no immediate decision was possible,and that the matter would have to wait for a political consensus.
Congress sources said there was no crisis either in Hyderabad or in Delhi. The speakers of the Lok Sabha and the assembly could take several days or weeks to decide on the resignations,they said.
Chidambaram said the situation was not that alarming.
The MPs and MLAs had forewarned us on the issue that they would be obliged to offer their resignation on July 4. It is not that alarming. The Congress general secretary in-charge is talking to the MPs. He is in touch with the MLAs, Chidambaram said.
The minister said that his December 9,2009 statement about initiating the process for the formation of Telangana was not made by an individual but made on behalf of the government of India.
When you refer to my statement on December 9,2009,you should kindly also refer to the December 23,2009 statement, he said in reply to questions. On that day,Chidambaram had said that wide-ranging consultations would be held as political parties were divided on the issue.
Today,he said that the government would call an all-party meeting,but only when they are ready to give their views. At least two parties were not ready yet,the minister said,adding that the central governments view will be made known after the consultation process is over.
Late on Monday evening,a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) decided to take steps to assuage public sentiment in Telangana,and send out positive signals.
The CCPA meeting,chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,decided to recommend to the President the repeal of a clause in an earlier presidential order that had upheld Hyderabads status as a free zone with regard to employment opportunities,especially with regard to police recruitments.
The repeal of clause (f) of Para 14 of the order would mean that police recruitments would be restricted only to residents of Telengana,and would no longer be open to people from other parts of the state.
The TRS and Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC),which are spearheading the movement for a separate state,have called a two-day shutdown in the 10 districts of Telangana beginning Tuesday. The TJAC has the backing of pro-Telangana groups,employees and students unions and the lawyers association. TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao warned that Telangana would burn if the Centre did not introduce a bill in Parliament for the creation of a separate state.