Hyderabad, Jul 12: Five ministers from Telangana region tonight met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy after a lot of persuasion by state Congress chief and Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, but they rejected his plea to withdraw their resignations.
The ministers also reportedly told Reddy that they would express solidarity with their fellow legislators who proposed to launch a 48-hour hunger-strike here tomorrow.
While these five ministers—D Sreedhar Reddy,Sunitha Laxma Reddy, Ramreddy Venkat Reddy, Sabitha Indra Reddy and D K Aruna—will not sit on fast, at least three or four ministers are expected to join the Telangana Congress MPs, MLCs and MLAs in the programme, party sources said. The chief minister as well as the PCC president tried in vain to prevail upon all the 12 ministers from Telangana not to sit on fast as it would show the government in poor light.
Earlier in the day, most of the ministers from Telangana region, who resigned from the membership of the Assembly on July 4 demanding creation of a separate state, did not attend a meeting called by the chief minister tonight. Instead, the ministers met only the PCC chief and their cabinet colleague Botsa at his residence even as hectic efforts have been initiated by the party leadership to prevail upon the legislators to take back their resignations.
However, upon Botsa's request, five ministers finally drove to the chief minister's camp office for a meeting after 10 pm, Congress sources said.
In a desperate bid to save the party as well as the government face, the AICC reportedly instructed the chief minister and the state Congress president to hold talks with the Telangana leaders and see that they drop their proposed 48-hour hunger-strike from tomorrow.
However, the Telangana Congress leaders - seething over the statement by AICC general secretary, in-charge of AP affairs, Ghulam Nabi Azad on the statehood issue today - asserted that they would go ahead with the fast plan despite intervention by the party leadership.
In the evening, the PCC chief held talks with about two dozen MLAs from Telangana and requested them not to precipitate the crisis and cause further embarrassment to the party and the government.
The MLAs, led by former minister R Damodar Reddy, suggested that Botsa convince leaders from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions to agree to the creation of Telangana state. “We want the Andhra-Rayalaseema leaders to explain their problems or reservations if Telangana state is created. We explained our problems in staying united,” Damodar Reddy later told newsmen.
The PCC chief said he would hold talks with ministers and legislators from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions in a couple of days and explains the concerns of Telangana leaders. “After talking to leaders of all the three regions, I will present a detailed case to the Congress high command. Our objective is to find an amicable solution to the crisis,” Botsa said.
In fact, Botsa cancelled his trip to New Delhi tomorrow to hold talks with Andhra-Rayalaseema leaders.
Meanwhile, school education minister and convenor of Andhra-Rayalaseema Political Co-ordination Committee Sake Sailajanath said Congress leaders from the region would camp in New Delhi on 18, 19 and 20 to meet AICC leaders and request them to implement the sixth recommendation of the Justice Srikrishna Committee and keep Andhra Pradesh united. PTI