The Seemandhra Ministers asserted at a meeting that they had not gone back on their promise of resignations.

Seemandhra Ministers have expressed their firm resolve to defeat the resolution on bifurcation of the State and then quit their posts.

At a meeting of the Seemandhra Ministers held at the residence of Minister for Minor Irrigation T. G. Venkatesh here on Sunday, the Ministers asserted that they had not gone back on their promise of resignations. They vowed to fight till the CWC decision on division was reversed.

Ministers – Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, Erasu Pratap Reddy, C. Ramachandraiah, Vatti Vasant Kumar, Maheedhar Reddy and Kasu Venkat Krishna Reddy attended the meeting to take stock of the latest political situation after successful conduct of the Save Andhra Pradesh rally on Saturday.

Sources said the discussion centred round the resignations with Mr. Venkatesh suggesting that the only way out was to quit the posts and ensure that the Centre is forced to reconsider its decision. Some Ministers reportedly expressed their reservation to the move, adding that as the Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, had asked them to wait for some more time they should observe restraint.

It is understood that the Ministers suggested that the first priority should be to defeat the resolution on bifurcation. Some others said if all the Ministers and MLAs resigned, the Assembly would be dissolved. At this stage, a Minister said that that would only lead to imposition of President’s rule and it would be better to oppose the resolution and defeat it on the floor of the House.

Legal advice

The Seemandhra Congress leaders are in touch with legal and constitutional experts. It is believed that Mr. Venkatesh and Mr. Vasant Kumar during their recent visit to New Delhi had consulted senior Supreme Court lawyers to take feedback on whether the Bill on bifurcation could be stalled. They reportedly sought advice whether the bifurcation would still take place even after defeat of the resolution in the Assembly.

Talking to reporters later, Mr. Venkatesh said all the Ministers and legislators were in favour of united State. He said the leaders were confident that the high command would be convinced against taking the process of bifurcation forward. He blamed the opposition parties for giving letters in support of Telangana and now crying foul.

“If the TDP and other parties take back their letters, the process of bifurcation will be kept on the backburner. While our Chief Minister is strongly opposing division, other political parties are in favour of division,” he said.

The Minister said traders and the business community were planning a meeting with one lakh people in Hyderabad or Kurnool soon, he added.