Hyderabad: Seven Congress MPs resigned on Friday to protest against the creation of a separate Telangana state, but the ruling party was able to stave off a deeper crisis as four central ministers stepped back from their resignation threat.
Six Lok Sabha MPs and one Rajya Sabha member submitted their resignation letters this afternoon in a major embarrassment to the Congress leadership.
But the upset union ministers - Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju and Ministers of State Purandeswari, JD Seelam and Killi Kruparani - have been persuaded by party leader Digvijaya Singh to meet the Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.
"Digvijaya Singh told us we need to play a proactive and progressive role once the Bill to create Telangana is taken up. He told us you should not lose the opportunity," Ms Purandeswari told NDTV.
The ministers said they had been assured that a high level panel would be set up to address concerns of coastal and southern Andhra Pradesh. Several Congress ministers and lawmakers from these two regions have been on a resignation spree, amid angry protests outside their homes since the announcement of Telangana, India's 29th state.
The Congress has 33 MPs from Andhra Pradesh, 19 of them from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. Earlier, the Congress managed to bring around nine of the 14 state ministers who had threatened to resign.
The party has been on a firefighting mode since it announced the creation of Telangana on Tuesday. The new state will take at least six months to become a reality.
Residents and leaders of Telangana, which includes the IT hub of Hyderabad, are celebrating the fruition of a five-decade-long movement for statehood, but the other two regions of the state, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, say they have been betrayed.
Protests continue in these areas in the form of rallies, human chains and sit-ins, though the situation is largely peaceful today.