In a dramatic development, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president and former union minister K Chandrasekhara Rao announced his resignation from the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Accepting the challenge thrown by senior Congress leader and Andhra Pradesh minister M Satyanarayana Rao, he told a news conference that he was sending his resignation letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
"This proves who is the real son of Telangana and who is ready to sacrifice posts for the sake of the region," said Chandrasekhara Rao, whose TRS had quit the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to protest the delay in granting the Telangana region statehood.
The TRS chief, who represents the Siddipet Lok Sabha constituency, made the announcement a day after senior minister M Satyanarayana Rao challenged him to quit the Lok Sabha and contest against him.
"I can sacrifice any post for Telangana and can never give up the demand for a separate state for the sake of posts," he said in response to Satyanarayana Rao's allegation that he enjoyed a ministerial post for two-and-a-half years in the name of Telangana.
KCR, as Chandrasekhara Rao is popularly known, had criticised Congress leaders from the region while launching a mass agitation for a separate Telangana last week.
Claiming that the Congress could come to power in the state due to its alliance with TRS in 2001 polls, he had challenged the Congress legislators from the region to resign and seek fresh elections.
KCR and A Narendra had resigned as central ministers in August to protest the delay in conceding their demand for a separate state.
TRS had fought the 2004 assembly and Lok Sabha elections in alliance with Congress.
It became a partner in the Congress-led government both in the Centre and state. The party, which has five members in the Lok Sabha and 26 in the 294-member state assembly, quit the coalition government in the state in 2005.