India

Telangana: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Reddy resigns

  • 19 February 2014
  • From the section India
File picture of Kiran Kumar Reddy
Kiran Kumar Reddy has opposed the creation of the new state of Telangana

The chief minister of India's Andhra Pradesh state has resigned in protest against a bill in the parliament to create the new state of Telangana.

Kiran Kumar Reddy said he had also quit the ruling Congress party.

Mr Reddy's move came a day after the lower house of the parliament approved the bill amid protests.

The bill is likely to be introduced in the upper house on Wednesday, paving the way for the creation of India's 29th state.

On Tuesday, the bill to create the new state was passed by a voice vote in the lower house amid a blackout of the live telecast of the 80-minute-long proceedings by a state-run channel.

Officials of the Lok Sabha TV said the disruption was caused by a technical snag, but opposition parties said it was done on the orders of the government.

"It is shameful that this bill was presented like robbers, hiding from people, putting off TV, throwing out those who were objecting," Mr Reddy was quoted as saying by the NDTV news channel.

He also blamed the main opposition BJP - which supported the bill - of "striking a secret deal with the Congress".

The entire session of the current parliament - which began on 5 February - has been disrupted by those opposed to the creation of Telangana.

Last Thursday, an MP opposed to the new state used pepper spray in the house to disrupt proceedings.

L Rajagopal was suspended along with 16 other MPs for "unruly behaviour".

With a population of 35 million, Telangana would comprise 10 of Andhra Pradesh's 23 districts, including the city of Hyderabad.

Backers of the new state say the area has been neglected by the government.

Opponents are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become a shared state capital for 10 years, after which it would remain with Telangana while Andhra Pradesh would have to develop a new capital.

Last month, lawmakers of the Congress party, which governs Andhra Pradesh, opposed a proposal to split the state. The move was seen as an embarrassment for the federal government

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