With no let up in public protests in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) over proposed bifurcation, indefinite strike by government employees, transport workers and teachers paralyzing Seemandhra and the central and state ministers, MPs and state legislators threatening to resign enmasse, President's rule is likely to be imposed.

Giving credence to the talk of President's rule, the Central Government also conveyed to Andhra Pradesh High Court that it would exercise the option if it feels that the state is unable to handle the situation.

During the hearing on a petition against the strike by government employees, Assistant Solicitor General Ponam Ashok Goud informed the court that President's rule in the state can't be ruled out. He said that if the state fails to control the situation, the Central Government would take a decision on the basis of the Governor's report.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has dropped hints that he will resign along with Seemandhra ministers, if the leadership goes ahead with implementation of July 30 decision of Congress Working Committee (CWC).

By speaking out against the leadership's decision on more than one occasion, Kiran Reddy is likely to become a rallying point for all those opposing the division. Some of his loyalists are even urging him to float a new party.

"Wait for few days. We will take a collective decision," the Chief Minister is reported to have told some Seemandhra ministers, who met him on Monday to urge him to forward their resignations to the Governor for acceptance.

After conveying to the leadership that he will not preside over state's division and warning that the party will be eliminated in Seemandhra if the state is divided, the Chief Minister is openly airing his views against the party's decision.

"Politicians are answerable to people and if they don't act accordingly, people will reject them," he told a meeting of officials Tuesday. Kiran Reddy, who hails from Rayalaseema region, warned on Monday that the state's division would lead to water wars.

Though Congress has formed a four-member committee headed by AK Antony, it also made it clear that the panel would only look into the issues arising out of bifurcation.

"The consultations are on the basis of CWC decision to bifurcate the state, which was taken on the recommendation of almost all political parties," Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is also member of the committee, said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday stated that a note on the formation of Telangana state would be in place before the Union Cabinet in 20 days. This leaves no doubt that the Central Government is going ahead with the process even while trying to address the concerns of Seemandhra.

(Agencies)

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