Stepping up the pressure on Congress leadership to rescind its decision on Telangana, a minister, nine MLAs and four MLCs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema Thursday resigned as widespread protests continued in non-Telangana regions for the second day today.
Jittery over the fallout of the Telangana move in two other regions of Andhra Pradesh, two days after the Centre's ruling UPA and Congress put their stamp of approval on the proposal to carve out a new state, Minister of Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao put in his papers.
Compounding the woes for the ruling Congress, a spate of resignations followed with nine party MLAs and four MLCs putting in their papers.
The MLAs handed over their papers to the the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly, while the MLCs forwarded their letters to the Council Chairman.
The MLAs who resigned are J C Diwakar Reddy, Gade Venkat Reddy, Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, Venkataramaiah, Murali Krishna, Ugranarasimha Reddy, Bangaru Usharani, K Sudhakar and C Adinarayana Reddy.
The MLCs who quit are Mohammed Jani, Rudraraju Padma Raju, Gade Srinivasulu Naidu and Paladugu Venkat Rao. Though it was expected that about 30 legislators would put in their papers today, only 13 eventually did.
One more MLA K Nageswara Rao claimed he had submitted his resignation to Andhra Pradesh Congress President Botsa Satyanarayana.
In his resignation letter addressed to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Ganta said his conscience was not permitting him to continue as a Cabinet minister as the recent developments (over the state's bifurcation) were against the "wishes, sentiments and aspirations" of the people.
"As an ardent supporter and as a representative of people wishing and praying for united Andhra Pradesh, it is very painful to note that the UPA government decided in favour of separating the state into two.
"I strongly believe that the development is not at all acceptable to the people whom I represent. In view of the developments, I hereby tender my resignation from the Cabinet ministership," he said.