New Delhi, Aug 7 IBNS | 2 years ago

Amid protests over the creation of a separate Telangana state, the ruling Congress on Wednesday constituted a four-member committee headed by Defence Minister A K Antony to address concerns of party MPs from Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh.

Besides Antony, Union Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, who had once been the in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and political secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel are the members of the panel.

The Monsoon Session of the Parliament has witnessed disruptions by MPs from the region, across parties, from the very first day over the Telangana statehood issues.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had reportedly written to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi requesting her not to bifurcate the state and create a separate Telangana state.

"I request you to rethink your decision. Please don't divide Andhra Pradesh. Keep the state united," Reddy had said in his letter that was also signed by Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and other top leaders from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region.

As many as seven Congress MPs had resigned from their posts last week protesting the creation of Telangana state.

According to reports, six Lok Sabha MPs and one Rajya Sabha member submitted their resignation letters on Friday afternoon in a major setback to the ruling Congress.

"A majority of the 4,000 employees from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are boycotting work and have threatened an indefinite strike from next week," NDTV reported.

Earlier, four ministers, including Union Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju and Minister of State for Commerce Purandeswari, had also threatened to resign as a mark of their protest over the issue.

The Congress has 33 MPs from Andhra Pradesh.

As many as 19 of them are from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to be included under Telangana state. They are opposed to the division of the state.

(Posted on 07-08-2013)