Cong Minister asks TRS not to go ahead with resignations

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Hyderabad, Feb 1 (UNI) The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh today accused Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekara Rao of 'unnecessarily precipitating' matters by threatening that party MPs and MLAs would resign from their seats on the Telangana issue.

Addressing a press conference here, state Roads and Buildings Minister T Jeevan Reddy claimed that Mr Rao would be doing a disservice to the cause of statehood for Telangana with his ''hasty step.'' The senior Congress leader opined that the movement for separate Telangana would suffer in the event of TRS losing the by-elections as and when held.

The Minister, however, parried questions as to how long Party president Sonia Gandhi would remain tightlipped on the issue and whether the Congress party was ready to accept the political challenge thrown at it by the TRS.

Reminding the TRS that it had lost 14 Assembly seats it had fought on its own and 16 other Assembly seats it had contested having electoral adjustments with the Congress in 2004, he said even in the recent Water User Association elections, the TRS could win only 309 of the 4,414 WUAs while the Congress had won 2,159 WUAs.

Party spokesman N Thulasi Reddy at a separate press conference claimed that Mr Rao had not spoken for Telangana's development for over 15 years both within and outside the Assembly when he was a Minister in the TDP Government.

The TRS chief's ancestors in fact hailed from coastal Andhra and had migrated to Telangana, he contended.

The Minister dismissed as a ''mere drama,'' the TRS chief submitting the resignation letters of party MPs and MLAs to party ideologue K Jayashankar.

Appealing to the TRS not to put hurdles in the efforts of the Congress Government in developing the backward Telangana region, he said more than 50 per cent of the habitations in flourosis-hit Nalgonda district had been provided with safe drinking water at a cost of Rs 300 crore and the remaining habitations would be provided the same in the next six months.

UNI SM VA PK AS1704

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