Hyderabad: The Congress suffered a major jolt today when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Reddy resigned and also dumped the Congress to protest against the state’s break up.
After announcing his decision to the media, Kiran Reddy drove to the Raj Bhavan and submitted his resignation to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
He urged the governor to make alternate arrangements at the earliest as he would not like to continue as caretaker chief minister.
Raj Bhavan sources said the governor accepted the resignation of Kiran Reddy, who was accompanied by about 10 ministers and 20 legislators from Seemandhra region.
“I am resigning from the post of the chief minister, as MLA (legislator) and also from the Congress party,” he told reporters in the company of his cabinet colleagues and other legislators.
He accused the Congress of doing grave injustice to the Telugu speaking people by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
He said farmers, students and government employees would suffer because of the division while problems would crop up between the two regions over drinking water, electricity, employment and education opportunities.
Kiran Reddy said Andhra Pradesh was formed after 50 years of struggle and sacrifices of many people and achieved progress in all sectors. “Is it proper to divide the state after 58 years?”
He lashed out at the Congress for violating all constitutional provisions and for pushing through the bill in parliament in an “undemocratic” manner.
Kiran Reddy blamed all political parties for the division.
“The TDP, YSR Congress, the TRS, the BJP, the Congress, all parties divided the Telugu people for votes and seats,” he said.
Kiran Reddy, however, thanked the Congress for making him the chief minister, a post he held for over three years. He said his family served the Congress since 1962 and fought 12 elections.
“My future is not important,” he said when asked if he would be floating a new political party.
He will be meeting supporters Wednesday evening to chalk out his future course of action.
He revealed that he decided to resign in July last year when the Congress took the decision to divide the state but continued on the request of party president Sonia Gandhi.
“Had I quit then, Telangana state would have been formed six months ago. I continued to fight for united Andhra Pradesh.”
He alleged that the central government violated the constitution, traditions and procedures since it decided to break up the state.
“Nowhere in the country was a state divided despite its assembly rejecting the bill sent by the president,” he said.
Kiran Reddy said by passing the bill in the Lok Sabha against all norms, the government had shown contempt for democracy.