7 Cong MPs to quit over delay in forming Telangana state

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Hyderabad, Jan 29: Seven Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh are planning to submit their resignation letters to party chief Sonia Gandhi tomorrow in protest against the delay in forming a new state of Telangana.

Ponnam Prabhakar, Madhu Yashki Goud, G Vivekanand, Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, Gutta Shukhender Reddy, Manda Jagannadham and Siricilla Rajaiah are expected to fly to New Delhi tomorrow. Reports say the high command is hoping to convince them not to quit right now.

However, the MPs seem to be resolute. Since all of them hail from Telangana, it is not surprising that aspirations of people in the region are more important for the legislators rather than the party's interests.

Incidentally, as many as nine ministers whose constituencies fall within Telangana are reluctant to emulate the MPs. According to K Jana Reddy who holds the Panchayat Raj portfolio, they are confident that the party high command will finally allow a separate state to be carved out from Andhra Pradesh.

However, he averred that all the ministers would resign if the Centre goes back on its stated commitment in this regard. Reddy slammed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao for organising protests against the Congress government.

Yesterday, Rao launched a blistering attack on the ruling party and claimed that three generations of its leadership had "cheated" the people of Telangana. "First it was Jawaharlal Nehru, then Indira Gandhi and now Sonia Gandhi," Rao noted.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary P Sudhakar Reddy condemned his remarks. He accused the TRS of provoking the region's residents in order to reap political benefit and stressed that discussions on the statehood issue can proceed only if peace prevails.

State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana also flayed Rao and pointed out that everybody knows what all happened before Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1956. Therefore TRS leaders should not mislead anyone, he said.

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