In a severe jolt to the UPA coalition, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ministers K Chandrashekhara Rao and A Narendra today resigned from the government and the five-MP strong party pulled out of the alliance withdrawing its support on the issue of separate Telangana state.
"We have sent our resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him to accept them," Rao flanked by Narendra and other party supporters told reporters at the end of the day long hectic political activities during which a last minute effort by Congress to salvage the situation failed.
In a seven-page resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Rao claimed the support of various parties accounting for 450 MPs for the creation of separate Telangana but attacked the Congress as "villain number one" for the cause.
The pull out of the TRS from the government and the coalition is the first major blow to the Congress-led government which, however, does not face threat to its stability because it still enjoys the support of around 330 MPs in the 545-member Lok Sabha.
The only other group which is out of the coalition is Vaiko led four-member MDMK that exited following compulsions of Tamil Nadu politics.
The parting of ways after nearly two years in power at the Centre brings to an end an uneasy relationship between TRS and Congress who fought the Parliamentary and assembly elections together in 2004 in Andhra Pradesh.
The TRS had also pulled out of the Congress-led Rajashekhara Reddy government in the state within a few months of coming to power accusing the state government of working against Telangana cause.