Within hours of the introduction of the bifurcation Bill in Parliament on Thursday, the ruling Congress suffered a setback with three MLAs – Adala Prabhakar Reddy, M. Sridhara Krishna Reddy and Bandaru Satyananda Rao – resigning from the primary membership of the party.

Congress circles are agog that more legislators, who were waiting for the bifurcation Bill to be passed in Parliament, would make their next move by joining the TDP or the YSR Congress. It is believed that resignation of the three MLAs was just the beginning and they are likely to join the TDP.

In a significant but crucial development, three disgruntled Ministers – T.G. Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy and Ganta Srinivasa Rao -- held consultations in the Assembly on their future course of action.

All of them made it clear they would not stay in the Congress once the Bill is passed in Parliament. A number of former PRP legislators are tipped to join the TDP in due course. The three Congress MLAs sent their resignation letters to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana. Speaking to reporters in the Assembly, they said they had already resigned as MLAs when the Centre had taken decision to bifurcate the State and were quitting the party now protesting the injustice being done to Seemandhra people.

“The Congress leadership is not heeding to any one on the issue of bifurcation and going ahead dictatorially and foolishly against the sentiment of majority people in the State. The suspension of Seemandhra MPs is not an insult to them individually but disrespect to Seemandhra people itself,” they added.

They sought to know how the State could be bifurcated without naming a capital for the residuary AP, allocating funds for its development, settling contentious issues such as river water and revenue sharing and sources of income generation.