The political backlash in Andhra Pradesh over Telangana decision took a new turn today with as many as 20 ministers hailing from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions planning to resign from their posts en masse.
The ministers, under immense pressure from their constituents to quit following the Centre's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, met in a star hotel here this afternoon and decided to put in their papers.
"We have decided to resign from our posts. We have asked three of our colleagues -- Dharmana Prasada Rao, Gade Venkata Reddy and C Silpa Mohan Reddy -- to communicate our decision to Chief Minister K Rosaiah," state Municipal Administration Minister Aanam Ramanarayana Reddy told newspersons after the meeting.
Immediately, Dharmana, Gade and Silpa Mohan rushed to the Secretariat to meet the Chief Minister.
After their meeting, however, the ministers maintained that they had not taken up the resignation issue with Rosaiah yet. "We will meet him later in the evening and discuss the issue," Dharmana and Gade told reporters.
The Chief Minister, meanwhile, refused to speak to the media and left for home.
Battling a swell of political discontent on the Telangana decision, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday stepped in to do damage control, telling MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalseema that "nothing will be done in haste".
Over 130 MLAs and five MPs cutting across party lines from non-Telangana areas have resigned protesting against the decision to carve out the new state.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Rosaiah ruled out tabling a resolution for creation of separate Telangana in the Assembly immediately and that he was "astonished, surprised and anguished" by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement on initiating steps for creation of a new state.
He said he discussed with the high command the issue of Telangana but he had told them that to pass a resolution in the assembly was difficult and he had expressed his "fears".
"There was preparation but to my astonishment, to my surprise and anguish, the so-called statement issued by Chidambaram has created a sort of flutter among the youth of coastal areas of Rayalaseema starting from Srikakulam up to Tirupati to Kadapa," he said.
TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, on the other hand, threw the ball in Centre's court on the creation of Telangana and insisted that Hyderabad will be capital of the proposed state.
Rao ruled out sharing of Hyderabad as capital with Andhra Pradesh like Chandigarh being shared by Haryana and Punjab. "Chandigarh and Hyderabad can never be compared".
"Having made the announcement, it is upto them (the Centre) to resolve the issue. I think, they are at it", Rao, recuperating at his home after a 13-day fast, said.