Asserting that the wave of protests against division has forced the Congress leadership to rethink on the issue, Union Ministers and MPs from Seemandhra region on Saturday made a forceful demand that the Antony Committee visit the State to assess the ground realities.

At a meeting in the Ministers Club House here on Saturday, the Congress leaders reiterated their commitment to resign, the moment they were convinced that the central leadership would go ahead with bifurcation.

Sources, however, said that there was no unanimity among them on the issue of resignation. MPs like Ananta Venkatrami Reddy, S.P.Y. Reddy, Lagadapati Rajagopal and A. Saipratap suggested that the high command would reverse its stand only if they resign in one go. But, other leaders disagreed with the suggestion, stating it would only deprive them the chance of voicing their concerns.

Union Ministers Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, M. M. Pallam Raju, K. Chiranjeevi, Daggubati Purandeswari, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, J. D. Seelam and over dozen MPs attended the meeting. Three Union Ministers – Kishore Chandra Deo, Killi Kruparani and Panabaka Lakshmi chose to stay away from the meeting.

All those present stated that people were not allowing them to visit their constituencies and were insisting that they should resign. They acknowledged the fact that the present agitation was people driven without involvement of parties and politicians.

The leaders decided to meet members of the Antony committee and prevail upon them to tour the State to see for themselves the intensity of the agitation in Seemandhra and the mood among people. They also propose to meet AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and other top leaders and appeal to them to reverse the CWC’s decision.

Union Minister Sambasiva Rao summed up the proceedings by saying that people in Seemandhra were seething with anger and that the people were more important to them than the party.