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Seemandhra Ministers wavering

Seemandhra Ministers wavering
Highlights

Union Ministers and Congress MPs from Seemandhra region on Saturday decided to make a last ditch effort to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and explain to them the ground situation in the region, and try to convince them to put on hold the bifurcation decision till an amicable solution was found. Six Union ministers and eight MPs who met at the Club House of Ministers’ Quarters here for over three hours discussed the ongoing agitation in the region and the developments in Delhi.

  • Central Ministers, MPs from the region hold meeting in Hyderabad
  • Deo, Panabaka, Kruparani, Rayapati, Harsha, Chinta absent

  • The leaders decide to meet Sonia, Rahul for a rethink
  • If no assurance comes, they can resign
  • Only Seelam, Chiranjeevi reluctant on quitting
  • Ministers flayed by MPs for not doing enough
  • MPs riled by reports of Cabinet note in the making

Hyderabad: Union Ministers and Congress MPs from Seemandhra region on Saturday decided to make a last ditch effort to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and explain to them the ground situation in the region, and try to convince them to put on hold the bifurcation decision till an amicable solution was found. Six Union ministers and eight MPs who met at the Club House of Ministers’ Quarters here for over three hours discussed the ongoing agitation in the region and the developments in Delhi.

It is learnt that the MPs expressed their ire over the Union Ministers for not playing a proactive role in convincing the party leadership to put on hold the process of bifurcation. Even as AICC leaders were claiming that the Cabinet note was getting ready, none of the ministers seemed to have made any attempt to stall it, some MPs felt.Barring two ministers J D Seelam and K Chiranjeevi, all others who were present at the meeting were of the strong opinion that they should resign from the Council of Ministers and Lok Sabha.

This move, they felt, would help mount pressure on the high command which was not seen taking cognizance of the 46-day-old agitation in the Seemandhra region. Finally, they decided to make yet another attempt before resorting to the extreme step. Briefing the media after the meeting, Union Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao expressed confidence that the Centre would reverse its decision on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. MPs Vundavalli Arun Kumar and Sai Pratap claimed that the process was in fact stopped following the pressure they had put on the party leadership.

Kavuri maintained that people were more important than the party and they would act according to the people's wishes. But before that, they would make yet another attempt not only to convince Sonia and Rahul not to take the process forward, but would also request them to see that the A K Antony Committee would visit the state and talk to the stake-holders.

Terming the ongoing agitation in Seemandhra as the largest such agitation in the world, he said this had forced the Centre to have a rethink. That was why even the core committee which met on Friday decided to call the Seemandhra leaders and talk to them again. Even Chiranjeevi expressed similar views. Rao said that the Centre hastily came out with a statement on December 9, 2009, on dividing the State only due to fear that Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao, who was on hunger strike, might die.

"But that proved to be a drama and we established that people were strongly in favour of a unified state. Accordingly, the Centre issued another statement on December 23, 2009, keeping the state division process on hold," he said. However, another minister J D Seelam expressed his anger at the media when asked if they were contemplating to resign as demanded by the people from those two regions. He retorted: "It's not the people's demand. It's the media demand."

Those who attended the meeting were Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, K Chiranjeevi, M M Pallam Raju, Daggubati Purandeswari, J D Seelam and Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, all ministers, and MPs Lagadapati Rajagopal, Magunta Srinivasula Reddy, Ananta Venkatarami Reddy, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, K V P Ramachandra Rao, Botcha Jhansi, S P Y Reddy, Kanumuri Bapiraju, and state minister S Sailajanath. Union Ministers Kishore Chandra Deo, Panabaka Lakshmi and Killi Kruparani, MPs Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, G Harsha Kumar and Chinta Mohan did not attend.

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