All 19 TRS legislators quit in Andhra Pradesh

March 4th, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi
(Second Lead)

Hyderabad, March 4 (IANS) A day after four of its MPs quit the Lok Sabha, all 19 legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Tuesday resigned from both houses of the Andhra Pradesh legislature to protest the delay in granting statehood to Telangana region. Vijayrama Rao, K. Harish Rao, N. Narasimha Reddy, E. Rajender and 12 other legislators submitted their resignations to Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy and vowed to “expose” the ruling Congress party by going back to the “people’s court”.

Making brief submissions before leaving the house, four legislators hit out at the ruling party and alleged that it had again betrayed the people of the region by going back on its promise to carve out separate state.

Later, all three TRS members of the legislative council put in their papers before chairman A. Chakrapani.

Vijayrama Rao, Harish Rao, Reddy and E. Rajender alleged during their submissions that Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu were the hurdles in the formation of a separate state.

Led by Vijayrama Rao, the TRS legislators lashed out at the Congress for “betraying 35 million people of the region”.

Recalling the promises made by the Congress during the 2004 election campaign and the assurances given by party president Sonia Gandhi after it came to power in the state and in New Delhi, they warned that the party would be wiped out in next year’s polls.

According to the TRS, the chief minister was misleading the Congress leadership to deny separate statehood to the region though most parties favoured the demand in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA sub-committee led by Pranab Mukherjee.

The TRS leadership had set a March deadline in January before Congress-led UPA government to initiate the process for creation of separate state. As the government gave no assurance, the TRS MPs and legislators resigned.

The TRS plans to intensify the movement for separate Telangana by taking up various programmes while the Congress party remained undecided about its stand on the issue.

The Congress leaders from Telangana were hoping that Sonia Gandhi would announce the party’s stand during her address at a public meeting here March 14. But the Congress Monday announced cancellation of the public meeting.

Although no reasons were cited, it is believed that the Congress is reluctant to spell out its stand and hence decided to cancel the meeting to avoid further trouble for itself.

TRS, which was formed by K. Chandrasekhara Rao after quitting the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2000, fought the 2004 elections in alliance with the Congress.

It won five Lok Sabha seats and 26 assembly seats and joined the Congress-led coalition governments both at the centre and in the state.

Chandrasekhara Rao, who along with his then deputy A. Narendra became central ministers, had promised to achieve a separate Telangana within a year.

Irked over the delay in the formation of a separate Telangana, TRS first pulled out of coalition in the state in 2005 and quit the central cabinet in 2006.

The revolt by 10 legislators against the party leadership in 2006 and a human trafficking scandal involving some of its leaders dealt a blow to the party. Last year Narendra was expelled from the party for his alleged involvement in the scandal.

The demand for separate statehood to Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad, is more than four decades old. The region, which was part of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, was merged with Andhra State to form a united state for Telugu-speaking people in 1956.

The region witnessed a violent agitation for a separate state in 1969. More than 300 people were killed in the violence. The movement was revived by TRS in 2000.

The region accounts for 42 percent of the state’s area and 40 percent of the state’s 77 million population.

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