As a political backlash erupted in Andhra Pradesh over the decision to put Telangana on the backburner, the Centre was today said to be considering setting up a States Reorganisation Commission amidst pressure mounted by pro-Telangana leaders.
11 Congress MPs from Telangana region today submitted their resignation to party President Sonia Gandhi in the wake of government statement they feared would delay indefinitely the process forming the new State.
The MPs who met in Andhra Bhavan in Delhi later called on Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Congress President. One of the MPs Madhu Yashki told reporters after the meeting that Patel assured them that there would be no "deviation" on the December nine announcement on initiating steps for the creation of Telangana.
Mr. Yashki said that Mr. Patel acknowledged that there were doubts that have arisen following yesterday's statement.
In the State, over 70 MLAs cutting across party lines, two TDP MPs and a state Minister resigned their posts to protest against last night's announcement by Home Minister P Chidambaram in which he had said that there was need for wide ranging consultations on Telangana.
With the issue turning politically volatile, the Centre may be mulling a proposal to constitute the second States reorganisation Commission to go into Telangana and demands for bifurcation of other states in a bid to buy time.
However, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has rejected it, saying such a proposal "is not at all acceptable". "We feel it is an insult," he said after the first meeting of the Telangana Joint Action Committee in Hyderabad.
Seeking to justify its stand on creation of Telangana State, government said "one-sided" decisions cannot be taken as consensus was required on the issue.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni expressed confidence that people will "accept it" after some time.
"Any important decision is taken with everybody's consent, after consultations with everybody. And this is what was felt by the government over the last few days that it is not possible at times to implement a one-sided decision all of a sudden," she said.
She was responding to a question why the process of creation of Telangana has been put on hold.
Citing the situation in Andhra Pradesh, Ms. Soni said the Centre wants to take any decision "after proper consensus building".
Home Minister P Chidambaram last night announced that situation in Andhra Pradesh had "altered" since the decision on creation of Telangana.
Congress also said there was no need for any precipitate action on the part of its MPs in the wake of the Home Minister's announcement on Telangana.
"Only wide consultations have been called for that alone will ensure an abiding result acceptable to all sections", party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
Among the MLAs who resigned are 39 from TDP, 25 Congress, ten TRS and two Praja Rajyam.
While IT minister Komatireddy Venkata Reddy resigned, 12 others hailed from Telangana region were prevailed upon by Chief Minister K Rosaiah not to do so.
Withdrawing the bandh for tomorrow in view of Christmas, the newly-constituted Telangana Joint Action Committee appealed to the Centre and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take immediate steps for formation of Telangana.
The Telangana JAC, an umbrella organisation of parties like TRS, TDP, Congress and Praja Rajyam, held its first meeting today and appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to honour UPA's "commitment" of creating Telangana.
"We shall continue the struggle to realise our legitimate demand," the TRS Chief said.
The shutdown in the 10 districts of Telangana was total but it was marked by violence when state and private buses were burnt and government offices were set on fire by angry protesters who also blocked rail and vehicular traffic.
In Hyderabad, students attacked TDP MLAs Nagam Janardhana Reddy and E Dayakar Rao who went in their cars to express their solidarity with the pro-Telangana students after giving their resignation.
But the students were not not in a mood to entertain them and instead turned on Mr. Reddy beating him up badly. Mr. Reddy collapsed and fell unconscious and was taken to hospital on a motor cycle.
IG Anuradha Rao appealed to "outsiders" not not to enter the University where students were agitated and may not not be in a position to distinguish between "good and bad" elements.