HYDERABAD: Differences cropped up among the Telangana Ministers before they finally decided to send their resignations to the party high command, with those hailing from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak fearing it would send a wrong signal to ‘settlers’ from other regions.

Some Ministers stated to have suggested that they should first brief the high command about the situation in the region and seek an assurance on the time-frame for formation of separate Telangana before putting in their papers. Some others felt it was not the only way to expedite process of Telangana formation.

However, majority opinion was that resignations were the only way to send a strong message to the people about their sincerity to the Telangana cause. Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah reportedly said that in a democracy, pressure was an accepted process to expedite decision-making on a long pending issue. Finally, everyone agreed that this was the closest the Telangana movement had come for realisation of its goal and pressure should be mounted through resignations.

The prospect of Centre imposing President’s Rule in the State also came up for discussion, but a senior Minister said it would have no impact on the movement. Another Minister felt the situation did not warrant it as they wanted only a clear message from the Centre on Telangana formation.

Before resigning, the Ministers called on Chief Minister K. Rosaiah in the Secretariat. They told him that they were under pressure from the people. Mr. Rosaiah counselled them to reconsider it as their resignations would affect governance. He reminded them that he had succeeded in persuading Ministers from Andhra and Rayalaseema not to press their resignations.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministers, Mr. Lakshmaiah said the Centre’s latest statement lacked clarity and all of them felt that formation of Telangana State was more important than holding onto their Cabinet berths.

The Ministers who resigned were Mr. Lakshmaiah, P. Sabitha Indra Reddy (Home), J. Geetha Reddy (Tourism), D. Nagender (Health), Mukesh Goud (Backward Classes), D. Sridhar Babu (Higher Education), J. Krishna Rao (Civil Supplies), Ram Reddy Venkata Reddy (Labour), P. Sudharshan Reddy (Medical Education), C. Damodar Rajanarasimha (Marketing), D.K. Aruna (Small Scale Industries) and Sunitha Laxma Reddy (Minor Irrigation). Government Chief Whip Bhatti Vikramarka, who belongs to Telangana, said he would also resign.

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