Seemandhra ministers threaten to quit over Telangana issue

Hyderabad, July 24 (IANS) Opposing any move to divide Andhra Pradesh, ministers from the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions Wednesday threatened to quit if the central government decided to carve out a Telangana state.

Stating that no alternative to united Andhra Pradesh was acceptable to them, the ministers decided to leave for Delhi July 26 to urge Congress leadership not to divide the state.

They said they were prepared to make any sacrifice, including resignation from their posts, to keep the state united.

With Congress Working Committee (CWC) likely to meet by month-end to take a final decision on the demand for separate statehood to Telangana, the ministers from Seemandhra, as the two regions are referred to, met here to chalk out their strategy.

After the meeting, 20 ministers from Seemandhra called on Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and conveyed the decision taken at the meeting.

S. Sailajanath, who is leading the Seemandhra ministers opposed to state's bifurcation, told reporters that they would leave for the national capital Friday to coordinate their efforts with central ministers and MPs from the state.

He said they also decided to put forth their views against the state's division before the central leadership through the chief minister, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana.

The three leaders have been summoned by the leadership to the national capital on Friday for a final round of consultations before the CWC meeting. Earlier, police arrested Telangana supporters when they tried to lay siege to the ministers' Quarters to oppose the meeting.

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