HYDERABAD: Sharp differences among the legislators of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the Telangana region came to the fore in the Andhra Pradesh on Monday, embarrassing party chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Senior party leader N Janardhan Reddy tried to stall proceedings by rushing towards the Speaker’s podium and holding a placard demanding a bill in parliament for the formation of separate Telangana state.
This move by Janardhan Reddy, who is heading the Telangana TDP Forum, a body of party legislators from the region, evoked a sharp protest from other Telangana members.
Janardhan Reddy had sharp exchange of words with M Narasimulu and others in the presence of Naidu, who was visibly upset over the turn of events.
The former state minister later criticised other Telangana legislators for not rising in his support and declared that he would carry on a lone battle as four crore people of the region were behind him.
"I will take my own decision if the party leadership opposes separate Telangana state," he told reporters.
Soon, about a dozen legislators came before the media to hit back at Janardhan Reddy, alleging that he was trying to push forward his personal agenda by trying to give an impression that others were not for a separate state.
Narasimulu, Revant Reddy, M. Venkateswara Rao and others said they all had Sunday agreed to end the boycott of the assembly session as government employees in Telangana had also called off their non-cooperation movement.
"But all of a sudden, Janardhan Reddy raised the Telangana issue in the house to show that we are all guilty," said Narasimulu.
The legislators said they were all ready to resign enmass and create a constitutional crisis to press for their demand.
"We abide by our decision. Let him submit our resignation letters to the speaker," said Venkateswara Rao, reacting to Janardhan Reddy’s statement that he was in possession of the resignation letters of all Telangana legislators.
The legislators had handed over resignation letters to Janardhan Reddy last year to forward the same to Telangan Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M Kodandaram with the rider that resignation letters of Congress legislators from the region should also be submitted along with their letters.
For the last one week, TDP legislators from Telangana were not attending the assembly and their counterparts from ruling Congress too were boycotting.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Communist Party of India (CPI) are also boycotting the assembly, demanding Telangana bill in parliament.
Janardhan Reddy opposed the decision of his colleagues to return to assembly, saying they would not be able to face the people in the region.
In their absence, TDP legisltors from Andhra and Raylaseema regions had been raising slogans demanding that the state be kept united.
Naidu, who hails from Rayalaseema region and has not taken a clear stand on Telangana, was annoyed over the behaviour of his party legislators.
He was also not attending the assembly for the last few days.
He returned to the house Monday, only to witness an open fight among his legislators.
Telangana has 119 legislators in 294-member assembly. TDP’s strength from the region is 37. (IANS)