17 Ministers and over 40 legislators staged a three-hour deeksha near the Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises

Stepping up their protests against CWC decision to divide the State, Seemandhra Congress legislators forum has decided to go on 48-hour fast in the City after September 9 (Ganesh Chaturthi).

Expressing solidarity with the pro-united AP protagonists in the State, 17 Ministers and over 40 legislators staged a three-hour deeksha near the Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Announcing their resolve to continue their fight and settle for nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh, the Ministers and elected representatives demanded that Congress defer its decision. They extended full support to the ‘Save Andhra Pradesh’ meeting being organised here by the APNGOs on September 7.

Convener of Seemandhra Congress MLAs and MLCs forum S. Sailajanath said that they would not sit quiet till the high command realised its folly of dividing the State without looking into the concerns. A wave of protests was rocking the Seemandhra region with common man coming on to the roads and opposing the decision to divide the State, he said. Minister for Revenue N. Raghuveera Reddy hit out at the TDP and the YSR Congress for trying to shift the blame on Congress for its decision on bifurcation. He said only after almost all the parties gave their consent the Congress announced its resolve to carve out two States. He said some parties had given letters not once but twice favouring bifurcation.

“The same parties are now shedding crocodile tears for keeping the State united. We want the TDP and the YSR Congress to pass unanimous resolution to keep the State united. By doing so, they will strengthen our struggle to keep the State intact,” he remarked.

Rival parties warned

Mr. Raghuveera Reddy took serious exception to the tone and tenor of speeches being made by TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and warned that if the rival parties crossed the ‘Lakshman rekha’, the Congress leaders and cadres would retaliate. He said that in the guise of yatras, the TDP and YSRC were seeking votes. He said though the decision on bifurcation was pinching them, they were prepared to fight it out till the high command conceded their demand.

Earlier, they raised slogans in support of Samaikyandhra and offered floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. Congress MLC P. Sudhakar Reddy faced embarrassing moments, when he tried to offer rose petals to the agitating Seemandhra leaders. They refused to accept them and asked him to leave the place.