Defying Congress leadership, leaders from Telangana region on Wednesday launched a 48-hour hunger strike in Andhra Pradesh, demanding the formation of the separate state of Telangana.
Having failed to obtain any assurance from the party high command despite their resignations from parliament and state legislature last week, the Congress leaders began their two-day fast.
Despite rains lashing the city early morning, six parliamentarians, two state ministers and a few legislators along with their supporters, launched the fast at Indira Park here at 10 a.m.
The leaders who sat on the fast include MPs K Keshava Rao, G Vivek, G Sukhender Reddy, S Rajaiah, K Rajagopal Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar and ministers K Jana Reddy and Basvaraj Saraiah.
They said more leaders would join the fast later.
G Sukhender Reddy told reporters that they were using Gandhian methods to mount pressure on the central government to initiate the process for formation of Telangana, in line with the centre's statement of Dec 9, 2009. The central government had in the statement promised to intitiate the formation of Telengana.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana had on Tuesday advised the ministers and legislators not to go on fast.
The agitating Congress leaders also rejected the party's appeal, requesting them to take back their resignations.
Eleven MPs and 40 members of assembly belonging to Congress party had submitted their resignations last week.
A total of 15 MPs and 100 legislators of various parties from the region have quit.