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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Seemaandhra MPs quit Congress, bandh calls against Telangana nod

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, October 03, 2013
First Published: 22:17 IST(3/10/2013) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(4/10/2013)

The Seemaandhra regions erupted in anger on Thursday night against the Union cabinet's nod to the creation of Telangana, with Congress legislators resigning from the party and 'united Andhra' agitators calling for separate 72-hour and 48-hour shutdowns in protest.

Union minister for tourism K Chiranjeevi too has sent in his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra areas are commonly referred to as Seema-Andhra and have turned into the hub of protests and agitations ever since the Congress Working Committee (CWC) agreed to the creation of a separate state on July 30.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday night, gave its nod to the creation of the separate state with Hyderabad as the shared capital for 10 years.

Moments after the decision, Congress legislators of Seema-Andhra reacted by resigning from the party.

Lok Sabha MPs Undavalli Arunkumar and Anantavenkatram Reddy are among the leaders who announced their resignation from the Congress. The MPs had already submitted their resignations to the Lok Sabha Speaker. A few other union ministers from the region are also said to be mulling resignations.

"The Congress will pay the price for this blunder," said Harsha Kumar, a Congress MP.

Meanwhile, the united Andhra agitators called for a 48-hour shutdown from Friday morning in the 13 districts which were agitating since the Congress decision to bifurcate the state.

"The cabinet decision has renewed our resolve to fight against the state bifurcation," Ashok Babu, president of Samaikhyandhra movement said.

The state Seema-Andhra ministers, who met earlier in the day, had announced that they are firm on opposing the formation of Telangana in the Assembly when the resolution is sent here.

Over a dozen ministers submitted their resignations though they are still pending with the chief minister Kiran Reddy. "Now the time has come to resign from the party," said TG Venkatesh, a minister. 

The YSR Congress Party, which has also taken a united Andhra stand, called for a separate 72-hour bandh in Seema-Andhra from Friday morning.

In contrast, pro-Telangana leaders like TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao welcomed the decision. Telangana Congress leaders were also jubilant.

"The decision shows that the party and our chief Sonia Gandhi are committed to their words," said Bhatti Vikramarka, a party MLA said.

Even before the Cabinet meeting, scores of anti-Telangana activists protested outside the Prime Minister's official residence.

Holding banners and shouting slogans against the division of the state, the protestors called for 'Saving Andhra Pradesh' and tried to enter the Prime Minister's residence at 7 Race Course Road by breaking through the barricades. Police stopped the protestors and bundled them into police vans before taking them away.


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