Decision can't be taken in haste, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

A day after their deadline to the Congress to take a decision on Telangana expired on June 30, Congress Ministers, MPS and MLAs from the region on Friday announced they would resign en masse on July 4 to put pressure on the party leadership.

Soon after, Telugu Desam Party MLAs from the region too said they would put in their papers after holding a meeting on June 3.

Led by Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy, Congress leaders from Telangana met at the Exhibition Grounds here to discuss their future course of action.

Mr. Jana Reddy told journalists that resignations were the only way out in the absence of any forward movement on the creation of a Telangana State. He, however, made it clear that all of them would remain in the party.

Their decision comes two days after Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao made a surprise call on Mr. Jana Reddy and impressed upon him the need for Congress leaders to mount pressure on the party high command by resigning from their posts. He was reported to have promised his party's help in getting them re-elected.

Of the 51 Congress MLAs from the Telangana region, 26, including nine Ministers, besides seven MPs and eight MLCs, attended Friday's meeting. In the 294-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly, Telangana accounts for 117 seats, of which 35 seats are held by the Telugu Desam Party and 11 by the TRS.

AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was in Hyderabad, appeared unfazed by the resignation threat. He said a decision could not be taken in haste as it would have an impact on the entire country, and not just on Andhra Pradesh. The process of consultations to arrive at a consensus was in progress and a decision would be taken at the right time.

The resignation threat is being made for the second time in two years. There were a spate of resignations by MLAs and Ministers after the Centre announced on December 9, 2009 its intention to create a Telangana State. Almost all the resignations were rejected.

The Telangana leaders have resorted to this extreme course of action as they believe that the issue has reached a decisive phase. This follows strong indications from New Delhi that the Congress will end the impasse in the next 40-50 days.