Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Konijeti Rosaiah (77) stepped down on Wednesday citing advanced age and indifferent health, barely hours before the Congresss Legislature Party was to meet (at 6.30 pm) in the evening.
Rosaiah announced his resignation at a scheduled press conference at the Secretariat at 1.30 pm, taking everyone by surprise.
"I have decided to resign; I am submitting my resignation to the state Governor and I will request him to accept it immediately,"
"I got the job in the fag end of life and I could not withstand the high pressure that goes with it.I am resigning on my own,” he said and added that "there are no political reasons behind it".
He said that despite various ups and downs and despite facing several calamities, both natural and man-made, he strived his best to rule the state focusing on development and welfare of the people.
He expressed his sincere thanks to his ministerial colleagues, officials and other well-wishers for extending their unstinted support during his tenure.
Rosaiah pointed out that he had assumed the responsibility as the Chief Minister at a crucial juncture after the unexpected and tragic demise of Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
He said that as a disciplined soldier of the Congress party he would continue to extend his services to the organization in whatever capacity the High Command deemed fit.
The resignation of Rosaiah was on the cards after he was given a dressing down by the central leadership on Tuesday for not doing enough to counter the malicious propaganda that was telecast by the Sakshi TV channel.
After the press conference, Rosaiah drove to the Raj Bhavan and submitted his resignation to Governor ESL Narasimham requesting him to accept it at the earliest and relieve him.
From the Raj Bhavan he left for his Sanathnagar residence.
Meanwhile, Congress circles said that Finance Minister and Congress' chief trouble shooter Pranab Mukherjee and Andhra Pradesh in charge Veerappa Moily will be attending the CLP meeting this evening.
The meeting is expected to pass three resolutions; one leaving the issue of new CLP leader to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, another condemning the TV channel for its systematic and virulent campaign against the Congress party and third re-affirming the state units abiding faith on Sonia Gandhi's leadership.