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Jan 29, 2013 at 09:13am IST

Telangana turmoil: Seven Congress MPs threaten to quit, more protests likely today

Hyderabad: The Telangana crisis intensified on Monday with Congress MPs from the region announcing that they would resign as parliamentarians and party members if Telangana state was not formed. While seven MPs wrote a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi saying that either Telangana state be formed at once or their resignations be accepted, nine ministers have said that they would "observe restraint" for the time being. The ministers, however, hastened to add that they were ready for any "sacrifices" and also announced they would set a fresh "deadline" for the high command to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, Telangana region, with its epicentre in state capital Hyderabad, simmered as protests continued on the second day of 36-hour 'Samara Deeksha" on Monday. Several members of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee were taken into custody after they, along with some belonging to other organisations, pulled down barricades in their bid to hold a protest march from Indira Park to Gun Park against alleged delay in creation of a separate Telangana state. Police contingents, deployed in large numbers, pushed the agitators back and rounded up several protesters, official sources said.

ALSO SEE Telangana: 7 Cong MPs threaten to quit, say will render resignations to Sonia today

A group of pro-Telangana students were also reported to have forcefully entered the chamber of Vice-Chancellor of Kakatiya University in Warangal and threatened to set themselves on fire. The Vice-Chancellor was, however, not in his chambers when the protest happened, police said. Protests are likely to continue in Hyderabad on Tuesday and students from the Osmania University are expected to hold protests in the region.

The government has also got into the trouble for allegedly not fulfilling its promise on the Telangana issue. On Monday, the Ranga Reddy district court admitted a petition against Union Home Minister Shinde and his predecessor P Chidambaram for allegedly cheating the people of Telangana. After an all-party meeting in Delhi on Telangana issue on December 28, 2012, Shinde had said a decision would be made within a month. But on Sunday, the Home Minister announced that the government needed more time to reach to a final decision as the consultation process was still on.

On December 9, 2009, the then home minister Chidambaram had announced that the process to create Telangana state would be initiated with moving of a resolution in the state assembly. However, as protests mounted against the proposed bifurcation of the state in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, Chidambaram had said on December 23, 2009 that the Central government wanted to consider "all views" on the demand for a separate Telangana state and that "peace and tranquility should be maintained".

(With additional information from PTI)