Hyderabad: Upping the ante against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Congress MLAs from Andhra-Rayalaseema not only rejected the party high command's directive to withdraw resignations, but also asked Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana to step down. At a meeting convened by the Chief Minister and the PCC chief on Saturday evening, which was also attended by AICC observers Thirunavukkarasu and Ramachandra Kuntia, the legislators adopted a one-line resolution requesting the Congress High Command to reconsider the CWC resolution seeking bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
"We want the state kept united," the resolution said. The over three-hour-long meeting remained hot with senior legislators like Gade Venkata Reddy demanding that Reddy and the PCC president too step down from their posts. The legislators in fact wanted Botsa to join the movement, launched by people of Andhra-Rayalaseema, for a unified state.
The Chief Minister and the PCC chief convened the meeting against the backdrop of resignations submitted by 5 ministers and almost all of the 75 MLAs from the two regions. More than 10 MLCs have also put in their papers, though the numbers are still ambiguous.
AICC observers Thirunavukkarasu and Ramachandra Kuntia, who had been camping in the city for the last three days, held talks with the Chief Minister and the PCC chief on Saturday and discussed the developments in the aftermath of the CWC resolution on the division of the state. The AICC leaders reportedly told Kiran and Botsa that the High Command wanted them to get the resignations of the ministers, MLCs and MLAs withdrawn as the party was seriously trying to address the bifurcation issue.
Five ministers and many MLCs and MLAs, whose number is yet unclear, have put in their papers in the last three days as protests in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions continued unabated for the fourth consecutive day. About 19 ministers and 50 MLCs and MLAs turned up at the Chief Minister's camp office this evening for a meeting called by him and the PCC Chief to discuss the political developments.
The AICC observers also joined the meeting and told the legislators that they would have to "fall in line" as the party high command has already constituted a committee headed by A K Antony to look into the demands of people of Andhra-Rayalaseema and address their concerns, informed sources said.
Earlier in the day, some ministers, MPs and MLAs from Telangana region also met Reddy and discussed the political developments. Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Balram Naik, state ministers K Jana Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, D Sridhar Babu, MP V Hanumantha Rao and others were among those who met the Chief Minister. They appealed to him to ensure that party leaders from both the regions maintained restraint and not stir up passions.