Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Reddy on Wednesday submitted his resignation to governor ESL Narasimhan to protest the UPA government's decision to bifurcate the state and create Telanagna, India's 29th state.
In a media conference at his camp office, just before submitting his resignation at the Raj Bhavan, Reddy lashed out at the Congress party for flouting all parliamentary procedures while bringing and passing the Telangana bill in Lok Sabha.
"I am ashamed. They did it like thieves, cutting the live telecast. What was the need to do like this?" Reddy questioned.
"I can't continue in Congress. I thank them for making me the CM. But, they betrayed the Telugu people," Reddy told reporters.
He also said that he is also resigning from the post of MLA as well as the membership of the Congress party.
He added that his future is not important and he would have stayed in Congress and followed their diktats if he had wanted to save his future.
The Telangana bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday with the BJP coming in support of the UPA to clear the Andhra Pradesh State Re-organisation Bill amid din.
Reddy accused the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of coming together in a clandestine agreement to divide the state. He even questioned the way the state was divided in absence of MPs from Andhra Pradesh. Reddy blamed all the parties – Congress, Telegu Desam Party, BJP and YSR Congress Party – for the state's division.
However, there was no word on the new party said to be launched by Reddy.
He was accompanied by several Seemandhra ministers and legislators in the press conference.
Reddy is said to have rejected the governor's suggestion to continue as the interim chief minister. The state is now headed for the President's rule. Andhra Pradesh assembly elections are to be held along with the general elections this summer.
His close aide and state social welfare minister Pitani Satyanarayana on Tuesday had confirmed that Reddy will not relent.
Andhra Congress sources said the chief minister's office had on Tuesday made phone calls to several party leaders, informing them about Reddy's decision.
HT was the first to report on February 16 that Reddy has made up his mind to step down from the post.
"The game is not over till the last ball is bowled" had been Reddy's refrain till now but the passage of the Telangana bill appears to have sealed his fate.
The names of state cabinet ministers Kanna Lakshmi Narayana, Ramanarayana Reddy and Raghuveera Reddy are doing rounds as his possible successor.
There was a buzz in political circles is that Reddy might either form his own political party or join Samaikyandhra Party, but state Congress leaders pointed out that the chief minister has now developed cold feet.
Apparently, a section is of the view that the proposed new party would have no desired impact as Reddy "took really long time" to step down and did not stall the bifurcation.
Half a dozen ministers and several legislators who had rallied behind Reddy were feeling let down by the CM.
"He played a big game with us," said a minister.
Ministers Erasu Prathap Reddy, Ghanta Srinivasa Rao and TG Venkatesh resigned on Tuesday, while others, including Dokka Manikya Prasada Rao and Kondru Murali declared that they were loyal Congress soldiers.
"The CM is only capable of addressing press conferences, not forming a party," said Rao, a minister from Seemandhra.
The Congress leadership had recently issued a stern warning to Reddy to "fall in line" or "face consequences" if he continued to create problems for the party on Telangana.