Congress MPs, ministers threaten to resign over Telangana

Sunday, December 26, 2010

HYDERABAD - Congress MPs, ministers and legislators from Telangana Sunday threatened to resign enmass if the Srikrishna committee does not recommend a separate state for the region. This comes a day after the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) offered to merge with the Congress if a separate state is formed.

Congress leaders from Telangana met here to chalk out their strategy after the panel submits its report to the central government by Dec 31.

They demanded the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) central government to table a bill in parliament during the budget session for the formation of separate state.

The leaders, including nine MPs, seven ministers, 15 members of assembly and four members of council said they were ready for any sacrifice to achieve a Telangana state.

“We are hoping that the Srikrishna committee report will be in favour of the formation of Telangana state. If it does not, we all will submit our resignations,” senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Keshava Rao told reporters.

He said all MPs, ministers and legislators would send their resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The meeting also decided that Congress MPs from the region would launch a hunger strike from Monday if the government failed to withdraw all cases against students and others who participated in the Telangana agitation late last year and early this year.

MP Sarve Satyanarayana said it would be fast unto death. The deadline set by the MPs for the government to withdraw all the cases is ending Sunday evening.

The meeting took note of TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s latest offer. The leaders felt that they should go all out to achieve the separate state instead of allowing TRS and other groups to claim credit.

They noted that since KCR, as Rao is popularly known, floated the TRS in 2000 only to revive the Telangana movement, the formation of separate state would make the party irrelevant.

They decided to present their views before the central leadership while underlining the need to immediately carve out a separate state. KCR made the offer at a meeting of government employees from Telangana

The Congress meeting also demanded that the state government send back all central paramilitary forces called and deployed by it in Telangana ahead of the Srikrishna committee report.

Rao cautioned Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy against the use of paramilitary forces and said the deployment was unprovoked.

The leaders demanded that the Congress abide by its Dec 9, 2009 statement to initiate the process for formation of Telangana state.

“If this is not done, we will have no face to show to our constituents,” Rao said.

Minister Shankar Rao said he was ready for any sacrifice for the sake of Telangana.

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