Four TDP MLAs sat on the indefinite hunger strike in Vijayawada, the epicentre of the anti-Telangana protests

Non-Telangana leaders cutting across party lines on Sunday stepped up pressure against creation of a separate state in Andhra Pradesh, but ministers from the region who had threatened to quit appeared to have a rethink on the issue.

In an apparent bid to scuttle the separate Telangana move, Congress MP from Vijayawada L Rajagopal, who has resigned his Lok Sabha seat, on Sunday demanded in New Delhi that the resolution favouring bifurcation of the state be moved in the Assembly where, he claimed, it will be opposed by 225 MLAs.

He also threatened to launch a hunger strike if the resolution is not moved. Rajagopal accused TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao of going back on his demand for resolution in the Assembly since he now knew that it would be defeated.

Amid reports that the current state Assembly session may be adjourned sine die, ministers from the Telangana region are also meeting to work out their strategy for taking forward the Centre’s announcement on creation of separate Telangana.

TDP MLAs -- D Umamaheswara Rao (Mylavaram) and Chinnam Ramakotaiah (Nuzividu) along with former Mayor of Vijayawada city Panchumarthi Anuradha and party leader B Umamaheswara Rao started an indefinite hunger strike in Vijayawada, the epicentre of anti-Telangana protests, for keeping the state united.

But TDP MLA from Telangana’s Karimnagar Ch Ramesh submitted resignation both from his assembly membership as well as the party in protest against the its “doublespeak” on Telangana.

Twenty ministers from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, who had yesterday threatened to quit the government, are said to be having a rethink on the ground that they do not want to precipitate the crisis further. They had met Chief Minister K Rosaiah who himself had threatened to quit.

The ministers are also meeting again to chalk out their future course of action.

State Congress chief D Srinivas, who hails from the Telangana region, hoped that no minister will step down and appealed to the legislators to withdraw their resignation, saying “they have made their stand known and the high command will now take a decision.”

Asked whether there will be a constitutional crisis in the state in the wake of the mass resignation of legislators, Srinivas replied in the negative and expressed confidence that the resignations will be withdrawn.

“I have made an appeal. I am confident that they will withdraw their resignations. There shall not be any constitutional crisis. This is my confidence,” he said.

There was speculation that the spate of resignations could lead to a crisis and that the assembly session could be adjourned indefinitely till the crisis is resolved.

So far, more than 130 MLAs belonging to Congress, TDP and PRP from non—Telanagna regions have resigned against creation of Telangana.

Chiru meets CM

Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi, who met the Chief Minister to seek government steps to ensure law and order, ruled out his resignation.

“As a leader, I belong to all regions. Sentiments of people of all regions are important for me and hence I cannot resign from my post,” he said.

Senior Congress MLA J C Diwakar Reddy, who was the first to submit his resignation, asked the Centre to depute an emissary to clarify doubts created by statements from central party leaders on the Telangana issue.

“Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the Union Home Secretary have spoken on the issue. There is some confusion. We request the Centre to send a representative to clarify the doubts. It will help restore normalcy in the state,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, protest rallies and fasts continued in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions in support of a unified Andhra Pradesh.

The anti-Telangana protesters were holding a series of relay and indefinite hunger strikes at several places in these districts. However, there were no reports of any violence.

Two PRP legislators -- Y Srinivas and Y Ravi -- met the TDP leaders, who are on fast in Vijayawada, and expressed solidarity with them.