Ministers from Telangana withdraw resignations

Hyderabad, December 31: A day after the central government called a meeting of leaders of eight political parties of Andhra Pradesh to discuss the Telangana issue on Jan 5, all state ministers from the region withdrew their resignations.

Thirteen ministers, who had sent their joint resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi Dec 25, announced that they were withdrawing their resignations.

After a meeting with state Congress chief D. Srinivas, the ministers told reporters that they were taking back their resignations on his request. They later met Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to communicate their decision.

“We are satisfied with the steps being taken by the central government to carve out separate Telangana state and hence we have withdrawn our resignations. However, if any hurdles are created in formation of Telangana state, we will not hesitate to quit and join the agitation,” said D.K. Aruna, one of the ministers.

The ministers had sent their resignation to Sonia Gandhi two days after the central government issued second statement on the Telangana issue, underlining the need for wider consultations.

With pro-Telangana groups interpreting Dec 23 statement as the central government’s u-turn on the issue, the ministers decided to resign in the face of mounting public pressure.

The ministers visited New Delhi last week and met central leaders of the party but failed to get any concrete assurance.

The decision also came in the backdrop of reports that the central leadership was unhappy with the ministers for resigning and deciding to stay away from cabinet meetings as this landed the state government into a crisis.

The ministers’ decision to resign, however, came under criticism from pro-Telangana groups, especially student bodies, who said the ministers took the step even before the process for formation of Telangana state had started.