Vijayamma is the lone exception; ruling party accused of using people as pawns

The Telangana statehood issue took another curious turn on Thursday when 16 MLAs of YSR Congress and one of Congress legislator from Seemandhra region resigned.

Protesting against the manner in which the Congress was handling the Telangana issue by seeking to decide on the basis of votes rather than the interests of various regions, the MLAs faxed their resignation letters to Speaker Nadendla Manohar. YSR Congress honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma did not resign.

This development, coming is it does on the eve of the Congress Core Committee meeting in Delhi on Friday, is interesting as the YSR Congress has always held that power rested in the hands of the Centre. It was up to it to take a decision that was acceptable to people of all the three regions.

Senior YSRC MLA B. Karunkar Reddy said the Congress, without declared its stand, was now planning to take a “unilateral” decision by viewing the people merely as voters and not as citizens. It was making calculations in terms of the number of seats the party would win if Telangana was granted or a Rayala-Telangana was carved out.

“It is using people as pawns for political mileage,” he added. Mr. Reddy said the Centre should keep its proposal before the people and convene an all-party meeting before announcing any decision.

‘Double game’

Another MLA, Srikanth Reddy charged the Congress with playing a “double game.” He questioned how it could think of dividing the State for political benefit without taking into account the sentiments of the people.

Senior YSRC leader M.V. Mysura Reddy said it was made clear at the last all-party meeting by his party that any decision should be acceptable to people of all regions.

In Anantapur, YSRC MLA B. Gurunath Reddy, flashing his resignation letter in the prescribed format to be sent to the Speaker, demanded that the State should kept united as no other solution was acceptable to the people. Rayadurgam MLA, K. Ramachandra Reddy said he too tendered his resignation in the prescribed format.

Veerasiva’s take

Senior Congress MLA, G. Veerasiva Reddy, who represents Kamalapuram in Kadapa district, announced his resignation from the Assembly as also the primary membership of the party. He told reporters that the people of Rayalseema were in favour of a united State.