Kiran Reddy ready to sacrifice CM's post for united Andhra

Hyderabad, Sep 27 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh appears to be heading for political crisis over Congress's decision to bifurcate the state with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Friday making it clear that he is ready to give up his post to keep the state united while state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and some other ministers are also planning to quit.

With the Congress leadership ruling out going back on its July 30 decision to carve out separate Telangana state and the union home ministry already drafting a resolution to divide the state, Kiran Reddy asked the party to take back the decision.

He said the state and the future of Telugu people was important for him than the post of chief minister.

He, however, advised central and state ministers, MPs and state legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) not to resign so that they can put forward people's views during debate on Telangana bill in parliament and the resolution in the state assembly.

Addressing a press conference Friday evening, the chief minister strongly opposed Congress Working Committee's decision and warned that the state's division would lead to wars over water between Seemandhra and Telangana and badly affect the interests of farmers, government employees, teachers, students and other sections of Seemandhra.

He pointed out that people of Seemandhra were staging protests for two months while government employees, transport workers and teachers were on indefinite strike.

Satyanarayana, who is also transport minister, called on Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan Friday evening. He is reportedly planning to quit both as state Congress chief and minister. Four other state ministers are also likely to quit with him, party sources said.

Animal Husbandry Minister P. Viswaroop had Thursday submitted his resignation to the governor.

Kiran Reddy said even 60 days after CWC decision, there is no clarity as to how the issues like water sharing and capital will be addressed. He said only a political decision was taken and the government can move forward only after addressing the concerns of people and showing a solution in writing.

Even while claiming that he respect CWC decision, he questioned the rationale behind it.

He wanted to know from the party if Jawaharlal Nehru took a wrong decision in formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956 and if Indira Gandhi was wrong in further strengthening the bond (between Telangana and Seemandhra) in 1972.

"As a chief minister of the state, I am saying that I am not a party to this wrong decision. If I keep quiet, the coming generations of Telugus will not forgive me," he said.

He evaded a direct reply if he would resign but remarked that state's future is important for him than his future.

"I am not a permanent chief minister and Digvijaya Singh is not a permanent general secretary," he said while taking a dig at Digvijaya Singh for reminding him that he is the chief minister of the whole state.

"Yes. I am the chief minister of Samaikyandhra (united Andhra) and I wish the state remain united," said Kiran Reddy.

The chief minister, with the help of a map, explained to media persons the problems which would crop up in sharing of Krishna and Godavari river waters if the state was divided.

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