Seemandhra Union Ministers meet PM demanding that their resignations be accepted

With the Centre and the Congress in a Catch-22 situation in view of unprecedented developments on the law and order front in the Seemandhra region vis-à-vis decision to form Telangana, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu began an indefinite fast here on Monday, even as Union Ministers from the non-Telangana areas insisted on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepting their resignation letters.

Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju told The Hindu that he, along with other Union Ministers from Seemandhra — D. Purandeswari, Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy and Chiranjeevi — met Dr. Singh and insisted on his accepting their resignations considering the sentiments of the people of the region.

“In fact I have stopped attending to office work and seeing files since October 3 when I sent in my resignation papers to the PMO,” Mr. Raju said.

Though other Union Ministers from Seemandhra, K.S. Rao and Killi Krupa Rani, too joined the delegation, it is not known whether they too insisted on the Prime Minister accepting their resignations.

Mr. Naidu, who began his fast at Andhra Bhavan here, was greeted by Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

Earlier, talking to journalists, Mr. Naidu said the Congress was playing dirty politics on the issue. It had abdicated its responsibility of finding a peaceful solution.

He indirectly hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the mess in Seemandhra where life had come to a standstill for the past 70 days. The Congress was thinking that the issue was its internal matter, he said.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain accused the Congress of mishandling the Telangana issue for vote-bank politics. He pointed out that the NDA government had created three States — Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh — peacefully.

“It is not that there was no opposition to the creation of these States. Yet not even a stone was thrown. The government managed everything deftly. But today, Congress leaders believe that the more trouble there is the more votes it will get in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

Digvijay Singh’s promise

Congress general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh said the Congress government would take care of the Seemandhra people’s genuine concerns on security, education, and employment in Hyderabad.

Congress spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das said the protests against Telangana by Mr. Naidu and YSR Congress Party president Jaganmohan Reddy were an afterthought governed by their vested political interests.