PICS: Congress 'hit' as Telangana fire engulfs Andhra Pradesh, offended cabinet ministers Pallam Raju and Chiranjeevi major 'casualties'
Hyderabad/ New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi on Thursday night resigned from his post in protest against the Union Cabinet's approval of the formation of separate Telangana from southern Indian state Andhra Pradesh, his aide said. The actor-turned-politician has faxed his resignation to the Prime Minister's Office, his personal assistant said.
Chiranjeevi, who hails from Coastal Andhra, felt anguished over the way the protests in Seemandhra regions, going on for over two months, against the division of Andhra Pradesh were handled. He has come under intense pressure from the united-Andhra supporters in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions following the Congress Working Committee's endorsement of separate Telangana demand on July 30.
Soon after, HRD Minister Pallam Raju also resigned from the Council of Ministers protesting the Union Cabinet's approval to the creation of a separate Telangana state. Sources close to Raju said he made the offer to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had asked him to continue. But Raju finally submitted his papers on Friday morning.
“It is a sad day for people of Andhra Pradesh. I am hurt and aggrieved. The AK Antony committee was formed to look into concerns of both regions and we were hopeful that it would look into grievances and concerns of our people. But without waiting for committee’s recommendations and without taking into consideration the concerns of people, the Union Cabinet decided to go ahead with the bifurcation. The decision is detrimental and harmful in long-term for people of Andhra Pradesh. We have not been able to articulate the concerns of people of Andhra Pradesh. I had offered to resign yesterday but honourable PM asked me to rethink over it. I thought over it and decided to resign,” Pallam said after handing over his resignation papers.
Raju, a senior leader from Seemandhra region,earlier conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he was "very unhappy" as the decision to carve Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh has been taken "ignoring" the senitments of a large number of people and hence he does not want to continue in government any more, sources close to the HRD minister said.
The united-Andhra supporters have often demanded that cabinet ministers hailing from Andra Pradesh quit posts to mount pressure on the Congress leadership towards halting the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The ministers from coastal Andhra and Rayalseema region have come under intense pressure from the united-Andhra supporters following the Congress Working Committee's endorsement of separate Telangana demand on July 30.
Over two months after the Congress Working Committee put its seal of approval, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Home Ministry for creation of the 29th state and decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out modalities.
"The Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of a new state of Telangana," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the meeting that lasted more than two hours.
He said it was decided that Hyderabad will be the common capital of the two bifucated states for 10 years.
After the creation of the new state, the security and guarantees including fundamental rights of the people of coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana will be ensured, he said.
The Cabinet approved a GoM that will go into the issue of a special financial disbursement that may be required from the central government for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, for building its capital and to cater to special needs of backward regions.
The new state will have a geographical area of 10 of the 23 districts of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Thursday's decision brings to fruition the announcement made by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009 for creation of Telangana.
Joy & anger in Andhra Pradesh over Centre's nod for Telangana
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President K Chandrasekhar Rao and other statehood supporters hailed the Union Cabinet's approval of separate Telangana while Seemandhra leaders and people expressed anguish and anger over the decision.
The pro-united Andhra employees of the state government, who are in the forefront of the agitation against division of southern India state Andhra Pradesh, called a 48-hour shutdown in Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions) from 6 AM tomorrow.
The TRS President hailed the decision but asked Telangana supporters to be "alert till the Bill for formation of the separate state is passed in both houses of Parliament".
Welcoming the decision, Andhra Pradesh Information Minister D K Aruna, who hails from Telangana, thanked ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for formation of the separate state comprising ten districts.
Several other Congress leaders from the region expressed happiness over the Cabinet's decision which comes over two months after the Congress Working Committee gave its nod to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana supporters set off crackers and celebrated the occasion at the TRS office here and elsewhere in Hyderabad, which was the epicentre of the long-drawn statehood stir.
On the other hand, the pro-united Andhra employees of the state government, who are in the forefront of the agitation against division of AP, called a 48-hour shutdown in Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions) from 6 AM tomorrow.
Centre asks Andhra government to remain on high alert
The Home Ministry Thursday asked the government of southern Indian Andhra Pradesh to remain on high alert in view of the Union Cabinet's approval to create Telangana and deploy adequate forces, especially in Seemandhra region, to maintain peace.
Apprehending protests, particularly from those opposing bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Centre has already sent around 2,500 paramilitary personnel to assist the local police to deal with the law and order situation there.
The Home Ministry told the state government to remain on high alert and deploy forces in all sensitive locations in Hyderabad, coastal and Rayalaseema regions to deal with any situation arising out of the Cabinet's decision, official sources said.
People in the Seemandhra region have been protesting for the past two months against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the agitation is expected to be intensified in the coming days following today's decision.
The Cabinet took the first significant step towards creation of a separate Telangana state and decided that Hyderabad will be the joint capital of the two states for 10 years.
Over two months after the Congress Working Committee put its seal of approval, the Cabinet approved the Home Ministry's proposal for creation of the 29th state and decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out modalities.
(with PTI inputs)
Andhra Pradesh seethes in anger. See pics in following slides..