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Kiran prolongs suspense on exit

Hyderabad, Feb. 13: Andhra chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy today said he would take a “collective decision” on whether to quit, prolonging the suspense after weeks of reports about his resignation over Telangana.

Reddy described as “ unfortunate and undemocratic” the introduction of the statehood bill in Parliament and reiterated his claim that the summer Lok Sabha and Assembly elections would be “referendum” on Telangana.

“The Centre and the Congress should have waited another two months and taken the mandate of the people,” said Reddy, who had moved the Assembly resolution that was passed against Telangana last month.

The chief minister did not reveal whether he would float a political party or any other forum to push his campaign against the planned bifurcation.

“We will take a collective decision based on the fate of the Telangana bill in Parliament,” said Reddy, who spent most of his time in the Assembly today with aides reviewing the chaotic events unfolding in Parliament after the statehood bill was tabled.

Reddy backed claims by some Seemandhra MPs that they were attacked during the mayhem and said such a crucial legislation should have been moved only after discussions and a national debate on the bifurcation.

“It is a very undemocratic move to bulldoze the bill without taking into the aspirations of the people of Seemandhra,” said the chief minister, who had held protests in Delhi last week against the split.

Reddy criticised the Congress high command saying nothing could be achieved with “force and compulsion”. ‘Even now, efforts should be made to ensure negotiations.”