Anger erupts over Telangana, others knock on Delhi door
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A day after the ruling dispensation at the Centre cleared the creation of a separate Telangana state, violent protests broke out in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts on Wednesday. Six ministers from the Andhra region were reported to have resigned.
The Andhra-Rayalaseema region observed a total shutdown with educational institutions, businesses and transport services remaining closed. However, the shutdown did not hit the third and final phase of panchayat elections held Wednesday, which reported a turnout of over 80 per cent.
Protesters vandalised statues of Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi in Anantapur, Kurnool and Nellore. Effigies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi were burnt at many places. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended services in most of the districts in the two regions, while Karnataka suspended services to Rayalaseema districts. APSRTC buses were targeted at many places.
The protesters also held massive rallies and blocked roads. All national and state highways were blocked, including the crucial Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway.
Congress MPs, MLAs and ministers from Andhra said they would launch agitations to re-unite the state. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, while denying reports of his resignation, said he felt hurt and pained about the proposed division of the state. However, he told a group of ministers opposed to Telangana that they should accept the situation and move on. The CM is learnt to have advised the ministers that they should now look at how to take the two states forward smoothly.
Confirming that he had submitted his resignation letter, Law and Courts Minister Erasu Prathap Reddy said, "I oppose bifurcation of the state. It has been done without considering the sentiments of all the people. I do not wish to continue in the cabinet. I think five other ministers have also resigned. We will be launching agitations to re-unite the state."
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