Andhra Pradesh plunged into a political crisis on Monday with 79 legislators from Telangana slipping in their resignations to browbeat the Centre to concede their demand for a separate state.
The day started with 37 Congress MLAs including 11 ministers putting in their papers. They were soon joined by 33 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs who handed over their resignation letters.
Four TDP MLAs had put in their papers on Sunday. And two TDP Lok Sabha MPs from Telangana have reached New Delhi to submit their resignations on Tuesday.
However, this precipitate action will not imperil the state government, led by the Congress. Even if all the resignations are accepted, the Congress and allies will have 146 seats in the assembly, whose strength will have shrunk to 220.
In New Delhi, Congress MPs from the Telangana region carried out a similar drive with eight members of the Lok Sabha and one of the Rajya Sabha (Rajya Sabha members are elected statewise, though) resigning.
The Centre on Monday said it had not taken a final decision on the “extremely sensitive and complex” issue of separate statehood. Home minister P Chidambaram appealed to the legislators to be patient and allow the consultation process to continue.
“The central government’s view will be made known after the consultation process is over. We have to bring everyone on board ... we are yet to take a final decision,” he told a press conference in New Delhi.
On Monday afternoon, ministers K Jana Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmaiah left for New Delhi for talks with the Congress leadership following an invitation from Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs.
To placate those demanding a separate state, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Monday recommended only locals get police jobs in Hyderabad, which falls in the Telangana region.
With inputs from New Delhi bureau and PTI