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Andhra remains tense, central ministers quit


YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy announced he would go on an indefinite fast from Saturday. On the other hand, ministers of the Congress government in the state and party legislators from Seemandhra decided not to quit so that they could defeat the Telangana resolution in the state assembly.

Apart a few incidents of violence, the first day of the 48-hour shut-down called by various groups opposing the state’s division, passed off peacefully. Vijayanagaram remained tense as protesters continued their sit-in at the camp office of state Congress chief Botsa Satyanrayana. 

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday reviewed the law and order situation and directed police to handle the situation carefully. Reddy told the police not to use even rubber bullets. 

Electricity generation came to a halt at power plants in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam as power employees joined the 48-hour strike. Officials said this could affect the electricity supply to some districts. Normal life in all 13 districts of Seemandhra came to a halt. Shops, businesses, transport and educational institutions were closed in all towns.

Protesters took to the streets forcing closure of hotels and shops and burnt tyres on main roads. 

Five central ministers submitted their resignations while human resource development minister MM Pallam Raju on Friday said he too has decided to resign. Textiles minister KS Rao, and ministers of state K Chiranjeevi and Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy had announced their resignations on Thursday night.

D Purandeswari and K Krupa Rani said they too are stepping down. They faxed their resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Four Congress MPs – V Arun Kumar, Ananta Venkatarami Reddy, A Sai Pratap and Sabbam Hari - resigned on Thursday while two more MPs - K Bapi Raju and R Sambasiva Rao - announced their resignations on Friday.

State law minister E Pratap Reddy resigned from the cabinet and the Congress party. However, other ministers from Seemandhra and legislators decided not to quit till the Telangana bill is defeated in the assembly. 
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