Three ministers, over 50 legislators from Seemandhra resign

Hyderabad, August 2 (IANS) Three ministers and more than 50 legislators from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh Thursday submitted their resignations to protest the Congress' decision to carve out Telangana state.

Four ministers announced their resignations late Thursday night after a meeting with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Minister for Infrastructure G. Srinivasa Rao told reporters that he along with T.G. Venkatesh and E. Pratap Reddy submitted their resignations to the chief minister.

Earlier in the day, as many as 15 ministers from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) had decided to quit but they later backed out after the central leaders of Congress party persuaded them.

Two central emissaries of Congress party and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana attended the meeting, which lasted for four hours.

The number of Congress legislators who submitted their resignations rose to 25 late Thursday night while 16 legislators of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also announced their resignations.

While some legislators submitted their resignation letters to the legislature secretary in Hyderabad, other faxed their resignations to the speaker's office from their respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, central ministers and Congress MPs from Seemandhra are holding a meeting at the residence of Rajya Sabha member K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao to chalk out their future course of action. The meeting continued till late Thursday night.

Earlier, eight legislators including senior leaders J.C. Diwakar Reddy and Gade Venkat Reddy submitted their resignations to legislature secretary at the assembly, two lawmakers submitted their letters to state Congress president.

Diwakar Reddy told reporters at the assembly that they submitted their resignations in deference to the sentiments of the people of Seemandhra. He said they would now join the people's movement for keeping the state united.

An MP and six legislators had submitted their resignations Monday, when CWC took the decision to split the state

Sixteen of the 17 legislators of YSR Congress party from Seemandhra had last week resigned to thwart any move by the centre to carve out Telangana state.

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