Cong ministers remonstrate as protests erupt over Telangana
Several ministers from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on Wednesday remonstrated with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy about the decision of creation of Telangana, even as protests erupted in non-Telangana regions of the state against the contentious move.
Several ministers from the non-Telangana regions, who had threatened to quit if the Congress decided to carve a new state out of Andhra Pradesh, met Reddy and at least one of them -- Erasu Pratap Reddy -- said he had "already submitted" his resignation to the party.
A group of ministers including TG Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Ganta Srinivas and Pitani Satyanarayana met the chief minister in the afternoon and discussed the fallout of the party high command's decision.
"We (ministers and MLAs from the two regions) will meet again tomorrow and decide the course of action," Reddy and Venkatesh said after the meeting.
"Nothing has happened yet. Only the Congress has announced its decision. We are still hopeful that the process (to create Telangana) will not go through," they said.
Since last night, about a dozen MLAs belonging to the ruling party from Andhra-Rayalaseema claimed to have resigned from their posts, but sources in the Legislature Secretariat did not confirm having received any such letters.
Widespread protests were witnessed in several parts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions with people taking to the streets, organising rallies, demonstrations and burning tyres and effigies of UPA leaders as part of the bandh being observed on Wednesday by different outfits.
Normal life was disrupted as educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed, and the services of state-run Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were suspended in Kadapa, Chittoor, Visakhapatnam and Krishna. The agitators squatted on roads to prevent the buses from plying.
Two persons, including a home guard, reportedly committed suicide in Vizianagaram and Guntur districts protesting the move to divide the state.
At some places like Eluru, incidents of violence were reported, with protestors attacking a private educational institution and government offices, damaging furniture and setting private vehicles on fire.