Cracking the whip, Congress today expelled six Lok Sabha MPs from Andhra Pradesh who opposed creation of Telangana and had given a notice of no-confidence motion against the government, cauisng the crisis to worsen.
The MPs expelled by Congress president Sonia Gandhi are Sabbam Hari, G V Harsha Kumar, V Arun Kumar, L Rajagopal, R Sambasiva Rao and A Sai Pratap.
"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved the decision of the disciplinary committee of the AICC to expel the six MPs from Andhra Pradesh with immediate effect," said AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi in a press release.
The move comes days after the Union Cabinet cleared the proposal for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana.
There have been indications from the government that the bill on Telangana will be brought before Parliament in a couple of days.
Sabbam Hari and some other members had given a notice of no-confidence motion against the government a few days back.
Hari has also threatened self-immolation if the state is bifurcated.
With the decision to expel the MPs, Congress apparently seeks to send a strong message to party members including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who are fiercely opposing creation of Telangana even as the party has made up its mind on the issue.
Both the party and the government have repeatedly reiterated their commitment to creation of the separate state.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier expectations, the Telangana bill will now be introduced in Lok Sabha first instead of Rajya Sabha with the government seeking a fresh recommendation from the President after the Upper House secretariat has held it as a money bill.
Sources said the move comes after questions were raised over the constitutionality of introducing the bill first in the Upper House.