Five Congress MPs from Telangana quit party

Fight for Telangana

Five of the six Congress MPs from Telangana tonight resigned from the party to press for the creation of a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The five lawmakers sent a joint resignation letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi through a "courier", S Rajaih and Ponnam Prabhakar, two of the MPs, said.

Those who sent in their resignations are: Manda Jagannatam, Ponnam Prabhakar, S Rajaiah, Vivek Reddy and Surinder Reddy.

Rajaiah said there was no question of a compromise on Telangana statehood issue and "a compromise can happen only if a positive roadmap is given for the creation of a separate state".

He said the decision to resign was taken after two days of deliberations among the MPs at Warangal.

The resignation by the five Congress MPs came on a day when the party indicated that it was not against the creation of Telangana.

Congress spokesman P C Chacko said earlier in the day that "we are in the process of taking a decision but then formalities have to be completed," he said.

Chacko's initial response was that the party's position on Telangana is well known and that "it's only a question of time" when the decision will be announced.

Asked specifically whether he meant to say Telangana will be announced and it is just a matter of time now, the Congress spokesperson responded by saying "you are right. We have taken a position. Our party position is very clear..but whatever decision has to be taken has to fulfil some Constitutional obligations."

Nizamabad Congress MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi, one of the parliamentarians at the forefront of the agitation for a separate state, told reporters that he did not see any need for resignation after Chacko's statement.

"I don't think there is any need for resignation now. Chacko's statement is clear," Yaskhi said.

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