The spectacle of "resignation" by ministers and legislators of the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh as well as the main Opposition TDP over the Telangana issue is becoming chaotic as a clear head count of those who claimed to have quit remained ambiguous.
The Congress leaders are clearly finding themselves pushedto a corner, with protests intensifying across Andhra-Rayalaseema over the proposed division of the state, and are hence using the "resignation" route in a bid to be seen with popular mood in their respective constituencies.
There is palpable division of opinion among ministers on the resignation issue as a majority of the 22 ministers from the two regions are reluctant to quit office.
They continue to pledge loyalty to the party high command though acknowledging the people's mood in non-Telangana regions.
Only five Congress ministers claimed to have submitted their resignations to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy since late last night, while the number of MLAs and MLCs, who were said to have put in their papers, remained unclear.
Ministers M Maheedhar Reddy (Municipal Administration)and P Viswaroop (Animal Husbandry) met Kiran at his camp office here this afternoon and tendered their resignation.
"At a time when people of my region are agitating against the bifurcation of the state, I have decided not to continue in my post," Viswaroop said after meeting the CM.
Maheedhar Reddy also spoke on the same lines. Last night, at a marathon four-hour-long meeting, Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao (Infrastructure & Investments), T G Venkatesh (Minor Irrigation) and Erasu Pratap Reddy (Law)tendered their resignations despite AICC observers Thirunavukkarasu and Ramachandra asking them not to do so.
In all 19 ministers, including PCC President and Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, attended the meeting. The AICC observers issued a warning that the high command would brook no rebellion, forcing many ministers who carried their resignation letters to back out, party sources said.