It is a new ultimatum to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and appears more serious than before. Caught between an indifferent UPA government at the Centre and growing unpopularity in the region, eight Congress Lok Sabha MPs, one Rajya Sabha member, five ministers in the Kiran regime, 17 MLAs and eight MLCs prepared their resignation letters on Thursday and said they would forward it to the respective presiding officers after July 1 if no positive announcement is made about Telangana by that date.
A decision to this effect was taken at the breakfast meeting that the Telangana Congress leaders held here on Thursday at the residence of party MP K Rajagopal Reddy. In the required format and addressed to the speakers of Lok Sabha and state assembly, deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha and chairman of the legislative council, the elected representatives penned and signed their resignation letters which are now said to be in the possession of panchayat raj minister K Jana Reddy.
“If the UPA government does not make a positive announcement about Telangana by July 1, the letters will be forwarded for acceptance. We will meet on July 1 and announce the date of our resignation. There is no going back on the July 1 deadline,” said Jana Reddy. “We will begin an indefinite hunger strike from July 5,” said Rajagopal Reddy.
The last time around when the resignations were given in December 2009, they were not in proper format so had been rejected.
Those who wrote their resignations included Lok Sabha MPs Manda Jagannatham, Rajagopal Reddy, Suresh Shetkar, Balram Naik, S Rajaiah, G Vivekananda, G Sukhender Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar, Rajya Sabha MP K Keshava Rao, ministers Jana Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, B Sudershan Reddy, Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, Basavaraj Saraiah, MLAs Jupalli Krishna Rao, G Venkatramana Reddy, A Mohan, K Laxma Reddy, Ch Mutyam Reddy, and MLCs S Yadava Reddy, Indrasena Reddy, T Bhanu Prasad Rao and S Jagadeeshwar Reddy.
Four of the 10 ministers, D K Aruna, Sunita Lakshma Reddy, K Shanker Rao and R Venkat Reddy, who were part of the Telangana delegation that met Union ministers P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday, returned to Hyderabad on Thursday to attend the cabinet meeting and thus were not part of the resignation episode.
Two Lok Sabha MPs from the T region, Madhu Yashki Goud and Sarve Satyanarayana, were not part of the delegation that went to New Delhi but are reported to have said they too would ready their resignation letters. NO HASTY DECISION, SAYS PRANAB ‘Jaipal played a key role’
Civil supplies minister J Sridhar Babu was part of the delegation but did not write his resignation letter while industries minister J Geeta Reddy and Rajya Sabha MP V Hanumanth Rao were conspicuous by their absence.
Interestingly, Union petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy, who had triggered a furore in the T region last week by saying that the Congress was against regionalism and sub-regionalism is said to have given moral support to the Telangana leaders. He apparently hosted a meeting for them. “Though he did not accompany us in the meetings with Chidambaram and Pranab, Jaipal played a key role in counselling us. He also lauded us on the unity we displayed,” one of the MPs claimed.
According to sources, in the meeting with Pranab on Wednesday night, the Union minister had asked them not to take any hasty decision and wait for UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s return from her foreign trip next week. However, the T leaders stood firm and took the decision to pen their resignations at the breakfast meeting on Thursday.
Even though some members such as S Rajaiah, MP from Warangal, expressed their reservations on the utility of the resignations, all of them were persuaded to do the same on the spot, said the sources. But analysts said that the representatives could as well withdraw their resignations at a later date. TOI