The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Andhra jolt for Cong

Hyderabad, Aug. 11: Four more Congress legislators from Telengana region today sent their resignations from the elected post to the party leadership in Delhi in pursuit of the demand for a separate pradesh committee.

V. Purushottam Reddy of Ramannapet, Gurunath Reddy of Kodangal, B. Veeraiah of Mulug and J. Krishna Rao of Kolapur faxed their resignations. Kaveti Saileela, the Congress chairperson of Sirpur-Kagajnagar municipal council, too, quit her elected post.

With the latest resignations, the number of Congress MLAs who have quit over the demand has touched eight.

The spate of resignations by the Congress’ Telengana legislators jolted the party high command, which invited the leaders of the Congress Forum for Telengana to thrash out the issue in Delhi.

Hemant Patel, political secretary to party chief Sonia Gandhi, even rang up forum chairman G. Chinna Reddy and urged him not to precipitate a crisis.

Congress chief spokesman S. Jaipal Reddy, who is a senior parliamentarian from Andhra Pradesh, met the forum leaders at his home here while on a personal visit.

Chinna Reddy told reporters that the forum would meet on Sunday to chalk out an action plan on the Telengana demand. “We want the party high command to assure us through a resolution that either the formation of a PCC or a demand for a separate Telengana will be made.”

D. Srinivas, the newly anointed Andhra Pradesh Congress chief who will take charge from Wednesday, would be invited to the meeting. Srinivas, who is from Nizamabad district of Telengana region, is a signatory to the demand for a separate PCC.

Asked whether all 40 Congress legislators from Telengana who had signed the memorandum would resign to press their demand, Chinna Reddy said the “August 17 meeting will decide that issue as well”.

The other Telengana outfit, the Telengana Rashtra Samiti led by rebel Telugu Desam Party leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao, is silently but keenly watching the developments in the Congress forum.

If the Congress game plan on Telengana clicks, the Samiti will be the first to be hit.

The Congress had 41 of the 115 seats in the Telengana region out of its total strength of 91 in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

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