Hyderabad: Pressing their demand for a separate State, Congress leaders from the Telangana vowed to resign en masse if the bill on separate statehood for the region was not introduced in the upcoming session of parliament.

Telangana Congress leaders who met in Hyderabad on Friday set a 4 July deadline to submit their resignations. “Telangana statehood is the aspiration of our people; we have no choice but to resign if we fail to fulfil the long-cherished dream of our people," said senior Congress leader from Telangana and Rajya Sabha member K. Keshav Rao.

The meeting was attended by nine ministers of the state cabinet, seven MPs, 18 MLAs and nine MLCs of Telangana. Their meeting came on the day senior Congress leader in charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad was in Hyderabad to meet elected representatives to address various issues in the faction-ridden state unit that has been divided on the Telangana issue apart Jaganmohan Reddy. Congress YS from the threat posed by founder-president of YSR

The ruling Congress is represented by 50 MLAs, 11 MPs and 16 MLCs from Telangana region. Of the 294 seats in the state assembly, 107 are represented by the 10 districts of the Telangana region, and 16 of 42 parliamentary constituencies.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Keshav Rao said the Centre should abide by the 9 December, 2009, statement made by Union home minister P. Chidambaram to facilitate the process for the formation of Telangana.

“Nothing short of separate statehood for Telangana will be accepted," said state panchayat raj minister K. Jana Reddy, setting aside speculation that a regional development council along the lines of Gorkhaland is on the anvil for Telangana region as part of a solution.

The Congress leadership sought to pacify the Telangana representatives and dissuade them from resigning.

There are some divisions among the Telangana Congress leaders over the resignation issue. Sarve Satyanarayana, an MP, has said that he will not resign as that may destabilise the government during the parliament session. T. Jayaprakash Reddy, Telangana Congress MLA from Sangareddy constituency, also differed from the group.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao welcomed the announcement. His party has been demanding that the Congress leaders resign to show their commitment to a separate state.

In a related development, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators from the Telangana region echoed the resignation threat. “We are ready to quit our posts. We will take a pledge at the martyrs’ memorial here (in front of the state assembly) on 4 July and submit our resignations to the assembly speaker," said Erraballi Dayakar Rao, convenor of the Telangana TDP Forum.

TDP is represented by 36 MLAs from the region. Dayakar Rao said TDP elected representatives will meet on Saturday to finalise their action plan for achieving a separate Telangana state.