Union minister Sambasiva Rao resigns

Hyderabad, April 3: Union Textiles Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao Thursday resigned from the union cabinet to protest bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and announced that he would not contest the Lok Sabha polls on Congress ticket.

Rao sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying the manner in which the state was divided pained him. He told reporters in Delhi that the centre did not even take his views into consideration while taking a decision to bifurcate the state.

He, however, has not yet taken a decision on whether to quit the Congress or remain in the party.

Rao is reportedly planning to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The MP from Eluru in West Godavari district was inducted into the union cabinet in June last year.

After the bill for formation of separate Telangana state was passed in the parliament in February, Rao had reportedly decided to quit the Congress and join the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). However, the TDP leaders in West Godavari district opposed his admission into the party.

Rao has three decade old association with the Congress. He was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1984. He was again elected in 1989, 1998, 2004 and 2009.

He is the second central minister to quit over the state’s bifurcation. Last month, D. Purandeswari had resigned as a minister and also quit the Congress. She joined the BJP.

IANS