Bowing to the mounting pressure of dissidents, K Chandrasekhara Rao on Friday resigned as president of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
The former central minister sent his resignation to Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters on Friday evening. The development came amid the crisis in the party following a spate of resignations of party leaders, who sought Rao's resignation blaming him for the party's debacle in the recent Lok Sabha and state assembly elections.
TRS general secretary Madhusudhan Chary told reporters that KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has quit as party chief. However, the party state committee is yet to take a decision on his resignation.
KCR, who had founded the TRS after resigning from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2001, stepped down as the TRS chief a day after party rebels launched a new outfit - the Telangana Vimochana Samithi (TVS) - to struggle for a separate Telangana state.
Chary said KCR resigned as he was upset over the developments of last one month. He denied KCR succumbed to pressure from dissidents.
KCR wrote in his letter that he was hurt by the allegations and false propaganda by a section of party leaders against him. He claimed that certain forces were trying to damage the movement for a separate Telangana state.
This is second time KCR has resigned as the party president. He first did it after the party's debacle in by-elections last year. He, however, was persuaded to stay on by party leaders.
KCR, who revived the three decade old Telangana movement by floating TRS, faced a major crisis this time as the party could win only 10 assembly and two Lok Sabha seats in the region though it contested 45 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats in alliance with the TDP and the Left parties.
His move to align with the TDP and the Left parties, his style of functioning, promoting son and other family members in the party came under criticism from a large number of party leaders and cadre. About 40 leaders have quit the party during the last few days while the party has expelled five leaders.
In 2004, the TRS had fought the elections in alliance with the Congress and the Left parties. It had then bagged 26 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats. It joined Congress-led coalition governments in the state and at the centre but later pulled out to protest the delay in carving out a separate Telangana state.
Ten state legislators and one MP had also revolted against KCR's leadership. His move to go for by-elections in May last year also backfired as the party could retain only seven assembly and two Lok Sabha seats.