NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: Ignoring the Prime Minister’s counsel, Union HRD Minister Pallam Raju today decided to go ahead with his resignation while two other women ministers from Andhra Pradesh are believed to have offered to quit their posts in protest against division of the state.
The two women ministers are D Purandeswari, Minister of State for Commerce and Killi Kruparani, Minister of State for Communications, who area said to have taken the decision in protest against the Centre’s decision to create Telangana.
Raju told reporters that “Yesterday, I met the Prime Minister and offered to resign. He told me not to take a hasty decision. I have thought over it last night. I have decided that I should resign from the Union Council of Ministers”.
He said he has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Raju, elected from Kakinada in Seemandhra region, has been strongly opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh and has been critical of the way the government was going about on the issue.
The aides of the two women ministers said that they have sent their resignation to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Senior Congress MP R S Rao, Lok Sabha member from Guntur, said he has faxed his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker.
He said he is contemplating meeting AICC president Sonia Gandhi and resigning from the primary membership of the party.
Four other Lok Sabha members from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema — Anant Venkatrami Reddy (Anantapur), Vundavalli Arun Kumar (Rajahmundry), Sabbam Hari (Anakapalle) and A Saipratap (Rajampet)– have also resigned. Three of them have said they are also resigning from the party.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde described the protests in Seemandhra region against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as quite natural, saying wherever a new state is carved out, such feelings are bound to come.
“We will take them into confidence. We will try our level best. After all, wherever there is bifurcation of any state, such feelings are there. It is natural. No one can avoid these. But we have to console them. We will try to console them,” he said. . Last night, Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi and Textiles Minister K S Rao had also offered their resignation.
Raju said the Cabinet has taken the decision to bifurcate the state in “great haste” without understanding the concerns of the region and considering the sentiments of the people.
He said they were hopeful that the A K Antony committee would have looked into the grievances and concerns of the two regions of the state and do course corrections, but the Cabinet “rushed” with its decision.
The committee was appointed by Congress to look into the situation following its decision to support the creation of a separate Telangana state.
“It (the Cabinet decision) is going to be harmful and detrimental to the state. For the three regions of Andhra Pradesh, it is important for the people to live in harmony and this issue should have been addressed before rushing in with the Cabinet note.
“So I am deeply offended and aggrieved that we have not been able to articulate the concerns of the people well enough for the Cabinet to take note of our hurt and anguish,” he said.-PTI