Azad said the MLAs and MPs are “open to discussions” and that the Centre should start discussions on the issue and “those who have resigned have not closed their doors.”
Rao, whose Telangana Rashtrya Samithi is spearheading the statehood movement, and his colleague and actor Vijaya Shanti faxed their resignations from Lok Sabha to Speaker Meira Kumar, while two TDP MPs -Nama Nageswara Rao and Ramesh Rathod met her in New Delhi and put in their papers.
101 of the total 119 legislators from the Telangana region have resigned since yesterday with more MLAs of Congress, TDP and all 11 legislators of the TRS quitting today.
Four members of CPI and two from the BJP also resigned from the Assembly.
Azad said he appreciates the sentiments of the lawmakers from the Telangana region and said they are willing to be engaged in the process.
“They told me that since the Centre did not take any decision they were under pressure from people to resign. They are ready for dialogue,” he said.
On whether the resignations would be accepted, he said since the Legislative Assembly and Parliament are independent bodies, “we have no say on this.”
However, the Minister said the Telangana issue is not a “time-bound” one.
Earlier, speaking to a television channel, Azad said an all-party meeting on the Telangana issue needs to be preceded by talks with the people of different regions of Andhra Pradesh and political parties.
“It is a sensitive and a complex issue which requires wider consultations,” Azad said.
Congress sources said a decision on the issue is unlikely soon.
Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said, “We are ceased of the matter. An appropriate decision would be taken at an appropriate time.”
Schools, colleges, shops and other commercial establishments were closed and public transport services were hit due to the bandh in all Telangana districts.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended its services at various places as a precautionary measures and commuters had a tough time reaching their destinations.
The bandh supporters held demonstrations and stopped vehicular movement at various places.
City buses of APSRTC in Hyderabad largely remained off the roads and consequently, the auto drivers had a field day.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh and no untoward incidents was reported from anywhere in the morning hours.