The Telangana issue continues to hobble the Congress with a year left for the Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh assembly elections as its two MPs left the party on Thursday to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
MPs G Vivekanand and Manda Jagannatham, who belong to the Telangana region, said they quit the Congress because the Centre could not taking a call on the statehood question by May 30, the deadline set by them.
“We have realised the UPA government will not give us Telangana and it is futile to remain in the Congress and hope for positive action,” said Jagannatham.
They said they would join the TRS on June 2 and work for the cause of Telangana. With their resignations, the number of Congress MPs of the Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh has come down to 29 out of the 42 from the state.
Another Congress leader from Telangana, K Keshava Rao, who was an MP, also announced his decision to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
All the three Congressmen had a meeting with TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao at the latter’s residence before announcing their move.
Vivekanand’s father, G Venkatswamy, had been a central minister and also a Congress Working Committee member.
His brother G Vinod, former minister in Andhra Pradesh and currently president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, also decided to join the TRS.
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is in New Delhi, said the resignations of the two MPs would not have any impact on the Congress fortunes in the state.
“The Congress will not succumb to pressures and deadlines.
The Telangana Congress MPs should not make such attempts to set deadlines,” he said.
Meanwhile, TRS sources said the two MPs had realised they would not be elected if they contested as Congress candidates, given the strong Telangana sentiment.
They wanted to leave so that they could prepare the soil by getting their nominees elected in the upcoming panchayat polls.