Debating India

TELENGANA

Five TRS Ministers quit in A.P.

Tuesday 5 July 2005, by NAGESH KUMAR*S.

Colleague refuses to resign

Rajasekhara Reddy "weighing pros and cons" S. Santosh Reddy refuses to resign Chief Minister acting against interests of Telengana, says TRS Party not to pull out of UPA

HYDERABAD: Five Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Ministers resigned from the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Government on Monday. This brings to an end their 12-month-old uneasy coalition with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

Without informing the Chief Minister, G. Vijayarama Rao (Civil Supplies), T. Harish Rao (Youth Services), A. Chandrasekhar (Minor Irrigation) and V. Laxmikanth Rao (Backward Classes Welfare) submitted their resignation letters to Governor Sushilkumar Shinde in the afternoon. They also handed over a copy of the resignation of Naini Narasimha Reddy (Technical Education) faxed from Detroit, United States, where he is participating in a meeting hosted by the Telugu Association of North America.

The Governor reserved decision, awaiting the Chief Minister’s opinion. Dr. Reddy, who called on Mr. Shinde minutes after the TRS Ministers put in their papers, said he would convey his view to the Governor. He was talking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan, where he had gone to brief the Governor about his trip to Israel, Egypt and Dubai.

Senior TRS leader S. Santosh Reddy, who holds the Transport portfolio, however, refused to quit the Cabinet. He termed "political brinkmanship" TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s decision asking the ministers to resign. This was not the opportune time for such action. Before asking him to quit, Mr. Rao ought to have stepped down as Union Minister, he said.

Mr. Santosh Reddy, a former Congressman, said he was unhappy at not being actively involved in the decision-making process. He avoided meeting Mr. Harish Rao and others who came to his residence before going to the Raj Bhavan.

The TRS leaders, however, said Mr. Reddy was consulted and he agreed to abide by the collective decision. "It is a matter of one or two days before he too resigns," Mr. Vijayarama Rao said at the Raj Bhavan.

He blamed Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy for the crisis, accusing him of acting against the interests of Telangana and treating the TRS Ministers contemptuously. "The question of [our] supporting this Government any further does not arise."

But, he said, the TRS had no intention of pulling out of the Centre, where the United Progressive Alliance Government was in power as distinct from the Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh. "We have confidence in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and in the UPA to deliver a separate Telangana."

The TRS leader said the party had been cautioning the Chief Minister for the last six months against taking decisions detrimental to Telangana’s interests. These included the location of Pulichantala project at an "unacceptable" site, attempts to deprive the region water from the Pranahita river, revival of talks with naxalites and sincere implementation of GO 610 for repatriation of non-local employees from Telangana.

The withdrawal of support by the junior partner with 26 MLAs is unlikely to affect the stability of the Government as the Congress enjoys a majority of 185 in the 294-member Assembly. All other parties, barring the TDP (46) and the BJP (2), support the YSR Government.

See online : The Hindu

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