The Kiran Kumar Reddy government managed to stave off a crisis late on Thursday night by convincing Ministers upset over the impending creation of Telangana to put their resignations on hold and assuring them that another effort to urge the Congress High Command to reconsider its decision will be made.
After more than four-hour confabulations with 18 Ministers by the Chief Minister and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana at the Chief Minister’s Camp Office, three Ministers — Ganta Srinivas, T.G.Venkatesh and Erasu Pratap Reddy — confirmed that they had submitted their resignations.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Primary Education Minister S. Sailajanath said that some of them had carried their resignations and submitted the same. However, they were kept aside and both the Chief Minister and the PCC president assured them that they would take up their concern to the high command’s notice and seek reconsideration of the decision.
The Minister said that all the public representatives of Seemandhra region would meet on August 3 here to discuss the developments and finalise the future course of action. He said they had also discussed the prospects of debating the resolution on bifurcation and its opposition.
There appeared to be clear division among the Ministers with some of them expressing reluctance to quit their posts. They were apparently urged by the high command emissaries not to precipitate the matter. Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju said he had not resigned and he would abide by the decision of the high command.
Earlier in the day, all the representatives from Seemandhra in the Cabinet, barring Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and APCC president, threatened to resign while three dozen MLAs from the ruling party and the Telugu Desam actually sent in their papers to the Assembly Speaker.
Simultaneously, violence in Seemandhra region, particularly in Anantapur, continued unabated for the second day, forcing the Congress high command to rush two emissaries and take stock of the crisis which loomed large over the Kiran Reddy government.
The AICC secretaries S. Thirunavukkarasu and Ramachandra Kuntia, who landed in the city on Thursday evening, came to the Chief Minister’s camp office and tried to pacify them. Sources said that opinion was divided among the Ministers on the question of resigning.
The fast-paced developments began with a meeting of Seemandhra Ministers and MLAs at the Ministers Club House. The resignations of MLAs which started in a trickle became a flood. Eight MLAs submitted their papers in the Speaker’s format to Legislature Secretary S. Rajasadaram on Thursday. Among them were Gade Venkata Reddy, J.C. Diwakar Reddy and Anam Vivekananda Reddy. However, Congress MLA K. Kannababu told reporters that 25-30 MLAs had handed over their resignation to the PCC chief in the prescribed format.
The TDP itself was plunged into a crisis of sorts as the seething anger against party supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu translated into resignations by nearly 10 MLAs, including three from Krishna district alone. The spate of resignations followed intense pressure on the legislators from protestors.