After an uneasy quiet for nearly two weeks, the Telangana region was thrown into political turmoil on Thursday when 63 MLAs belonging to different parties submitted resignations to the Assembly Speaker and 13 MPs threatened to quit in the wake of widespread protests against the Centre’s move to put on hold its earlier decision on statehood.
The violence that began on Wednesday night soon after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement on holding wide-ranging consultations on statehood continued on Thursday.
Normal life was disrupted throughout the region as a complete bandh was observed in response to the Telangana Joint Action Committee’s call. However, there will be a respite on Friday when the JAC withdrew its bandh call on an appeal from Christians in view of Christmas.
In a repeat of last week’s developments when 20 Ministers from the Andhra region threatened to resign, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah had to tackle hostile Cabinet colleagues, this time from the Telangana region.
Stating that he was pained by the Centre’s changed stand on Telangana, Minister for Information Technology K. Venkat Reddy announced that he would resign from the Cabinet as well as the Assembly.
Under pressure from their constituents, 10 other Ministers from the region were mulling a similar option but they would announce their decision only after conveying their feelings to AICC president Sonia Gandhi. They earlier met Mr. Rosaiah and expressed anguish over Mr. Chidambaram’s statement which, they said, had sent a wrong signal to the Telangana people.
A senior Telugu Desam leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy was roughed up by students on the Osmania University campus and two former Ministers, T. Devender Goud and Kadiam Srihari, attacked when they visited the Arts College to express solidarity with the agitators.
Dr. Reddy, TDP’s Deputy Leader in the Assembly, fell unconscious and was rushed to hospital. Six vehicles were badly damaged and two overturned by the students in the campus where the situation remained volatile throughout the day.
In Hyderabad police resorted to lathicharge to disperse angry mobs, including students of Osmania varsity.