In a dramatic move, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday announced his resignation from Lok Sabha to intensify the movement for separate Telangana state and dared the ruling Congress leaders from the region to follow the suit and seek fresh mandate.
The decision came three weeks after he quit the UPA government, along with his deputy A Narendra, to protest against the Congress-led coalition's failure to initiate the process for creation of the new state.
Rao, who represents Karimnagar constituency in Lok Sabha, told reporters that he would be sending the resignation letter to the Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
The TRS, which has five MPs and 26 MLAs, had contested the 2004 elections in alliance with Congress but parted ways in the wake of failure to fulfill its pre-poll promise of Telangana statehood.
The resignation came in the backdrop of calls by the state Congress leaders, including APCC President K Kesava Rao and senior Minister M Satyanarayana Rao, asking Rao to quit his Parliament seat and go to the people.
"I am accepting their challenge and resigning from Lok Sabha. If they have guts, let them reciprocate. Let all of us go to people and fight elections on the sole issue of Telangana statehood", Rao said.
He said all his party MPs and MLAs were ready to quit their posts and dared Congress leaders to come forward to seek fresh mandate.
"The next elections will be held on Telangana issue alone. The people will decide who is committed to their welfare", the TRS Chief said.