The political crisis in Andhra Pradesh deepened further on Friday as MLAs and MLCs remained totally divided along regional lines irrespective of political affiliations.
The spate of resignations by MLAs of different parties from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions that began on Thursday morning continued on Friday. Till noon, at least 124 MLAs — 78 of Congress, 32 Telugu Desam and 14 Praja Rajyam — had personally handed over their letters of resignation to Assembly Speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy. Several other members from these two regions are expected to resign by the end of the day.
This unprecedented situation had its fallout on the proceedings of the Assembly, which adjourned without transacting any business. Admitting that there was a crisis of sorts owing to these resignations, the Speaker suggested that the Government convene a meeting of floor leaders immediately to find out a way out of the political stalemate.
Earlier, the Assembly witnessed tumultuous scenes with members from the Andhra and Telangana regions raising slogans against one another. There were heated exchanges between these members in the Assembly lobbies too.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah urged members to show restraint since there was already turmoil in the coastal Andhra region where students had come out from the university campuses to stage protests demanding a united Andhra Pradesh. Police had to use force against the students of Andhra University in Visakhapatnam.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Legislative Council which was adjourned in the midst of the question hour as members belonging to the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions entered the House in a group and raised slogans in favour of an integrated Andhra Pradesh triggering protests from members from Telangana. After the House adjourned, members of all parties from the Andhra region joined hands in a rare show of unity and posed for photographs.
Meanwhile, normal life was affected in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions in response to a bandh call. People agitating for an integrated Andhra Pradesh staged demonstrations and erected road blocks while the APSRTC withdrew bus services from several places. Lawyers boycotted courts in Visakhapatnam and other towns in North Coastal Andhra while in the AP High Court police had to intervene to prevent clashes between advocates from Telangana and Andhra regions.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who ended his 11-day fast on Wednesday, was discharged from the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) after doctors found that there was a significant improvement in his health condition.