He is the first RS member to quit on bifurcation issue

Raising the pitch of the party’s protest against the division of Andhra Pradesh, TDP MP N. Harikrishna on Thursday resigned from the Rajya Sabha, which Chairman Hamid Ansari accepted promptly.

Mr. Krishna, who is the son of former Chief Minister late N.T. Rama Rao, called on Mr. Ansari and submitted his resignation. He has become the first RS member to quit on this issue.

His resignation and its acceptance with immediate effect on August 22 was announced in the House by Deputy P.J. Kurien even as reports tickled in that the Lok Sabha had been adjourned for the day over the failed move to suspend 11 members, including four of the TDP.

Mr. Harikrishna’s party colleagues Y.S. Chowdary and C.M. Ramesh were in the well of the House protesting the refusal of the chair to raise the issue of Andhra Pradesh during zero hour. Prof. Kurien turned down their plea stressing their notice had not been received within the stipulated time and assured to give them a chance on Friday on the submission of a fresh one.

With the two TDP members refusing to budge, the chair adjourned the House for twenty minutes.

After the adjournment, Congress member Govardhan Reddy pricked the two TDP members asking them why they too had not resigned. The scene turned ugly but Congress members led by Ambika Soni pulled Mr. Reddy away.

With Mr. Reddy apparently continuing with his aggression, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh plainly told him: No more please.

On resumption, the TDP members acceded to the request of Prof. Kurien and other opposition members that their notice would be taken up on a priority basis. They went back to their seat allowing the House to proceed with its business.

Talking to the reporters outside, Mr. Harikrishna accused the Congress of making political capital by deciding to bifurcate the State.

He alleged the Congress had played foul with the spirit of Andhra Pradesh in its bid to make Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi the next Prime Minister.