After MPs and state legislators from Telangana tendered mass resignations to press for a separate state, their counterparts from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions now threaten the same to keep Andhra Pradesh undivided.
At a meeting held at Vijayawada on Saturday, ruling Congress party leaders from the two regions made it clear that they are ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of "samaikya Andhra" or united Andhra Pradesh.
Seven state ministers, 18 members of state assembly and six members of the council belonging to the ruling party attended the meeting, the first such gathering after the resignations of 15 MPs and over 100 state legislators from the Telangana region last week.
The meeting unanimously passed a resolution that it is the responsibility of the central government to protect the unity and integrity of the state.
"The posts and even our lives are not important for our cause. We will do anything to keep the state united," said primary education minister Shailajanath, who comes from the Rayalaseema region.
Senior Congress leader Mandali Buddhaprasad, who presided over the meeting, said they were ready to make any sacrifice to prevent bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
The meeting was held at a time when students' organisations are mounting pressure on public representatives from the two regions to submit their resignations to counter the Telangana agitation.
Addressing the meeting, another minister from Rayalaseema, TG Venkatesh, asked Andhra leaders to form squads to counter the attacks by Telangana supporters.
Venkatesh, who heads the united forum for protection of the rights of Rayalaseema, said the forum has already set up the Sainik Seva Dal to counter Telangana groups.
Meanwhile, opposition Telugu Desam Party legislators from Telangana met assembly Speaker N. Manohar and urged him to accept their resignations or carve out a separate Telangana state.
Telangana region, comprising 10 districts including Hyderabad, is witnessing renewed movement for a separate state but the two other regions of teh state are not ready to accept bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.