HYDERABAD, Feb 19 � Biting the bullet, N Kiran Kumar Reddy today resigned as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and quit Congress to protest the Centre�s decision to carve out a separate State of Telangana, giving jitters to the ruling party in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, reports PTI.
Reddy, who had tried to thwart division of Andhra Pradesh by ensuring rejection of the Telangana Bill by the legislature, submitted his resignation to Governor ESL Narasimhan, which was accepted.
Flaying the manner in which the decision on Telangana was taken by Congress and the Centre, Reddy also quit as MLA, capping weeks of public defiance as a result of which he burnt bridges with the party�s national leadership.
The 53-year-old leader, who was widely speculated to form a new party, was, however, evasive on the issue.
�My party or my future is not important. My fight is to keep the State united and the people will suffer because of division,� he said when asked if he would float a new party.
Speculation was rife that the State may be headed for a spell of President�s Rule.
�I am thankful to Congress for making me the Chief Minister. But, I am resigning in protest as they have divided the State and hurt the Telugu people and made their future dark. I am quitting as MLA and the Congress party,� he said.
Accompanied by some Ministers and MLAs, he later drove to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the Governor.