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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 21/02/2014
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(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) The state, given the fluid situation with the bifurcation likely to happen sooner than later, will in all likelihood be brought under President?s rule

Retired hurt! That best sums up cricketer-turned-politician N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s resignation from the post of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister as well as from Congress on Wednesday in protest against the decision to divide the state.

Governor E S L Narasimhan has since accepted his resignation. The state, given the fluid situation with the bifurcation likely to happen sooner than later, will in all likelihood be brought under President’s rule. Kiran Reddy, who has a penchant to use cricketing parlance while describing political situations, would often say that no match is over till the last ball is played, when he was asked in the past about his party’s decision to divide the state. And now his innings has come to an end.

Before meeting the Governor at Raj Bhavan to hand over his resignation letter, 53-year-old Kiran Reddy, flanked by eight cabinet colleagues and a dozen legislators, told mediapersons that he was dismayed and distressed by the developments that unfolded in the past few days culminating in the Lok Sabha passing the Telangana bill by voice vote on Tuesday, which again is likely to be ratified by the Rajya Sabha too later in the day.

“The division of the state is not going to benefit anyone. There are dark days ahead for all the Telugu people including students, farmers and government employees. And all the parties including BJP, Telugu Desam Party, YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Congress as well are responsible for the disgraceful manner in which the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. We hang our head in shame today,” Kiran Reddy said, putting up a brave front in the wake of severe criticism from his own party and colleagues.

Stating that the federal government had given a go by to Constitutional provisions right from the constitution of the Group of Ministers to work out modalities of the state’s division to the draft bill that was sent to the State Assembly for its opinion, he said all the points and objections raised by the state government were ignored.

“Does the Constitution provide for a draft bill to be discussed in the State Assembly? Can a bill be taken up in Parliament when MPs from the state concerned stand suspended? Why was the live telecast of the proceedings in Lok Sabha blacked out when the Telangana bill was taken up? The government has to explain on all these issues,” he said.

Kiran Reddy, pointing out that Andhra Pradesh came into existence after a lot of sacrifices, said the state had progressed well in the decades of its existence. “58 years of unity (between Telugu people) has been shattered by this single decision to divide the state,” he said, adding that it was complete mockery of Parliamentary democracy.

“I am thankful to the Congress for giving me the opportunity to serve the state as chief minister, but I can’t continue in office or be a member of a party which is dividing the Telugu people. Posts do not matter to me when it comes to the welfare of my state and its people. I am also not against the aspirations of the people of Telangana region,” the former chief minister said.

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