There is a likelihood of some delay regarding an announcement on Telangana with the Congress seeking to buy more time to resolve the vexed issue despite the January 28 deadline set by the Centre to decide the matter.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of the party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, said on Wednesday, “It is a very sensitive issue and cannot be decided on the whims and fancies of the media.”
“We had sought a month's time to announce the decision. However, there is still some time before a month could pass by,” he added.
He said a positive decision would be taken, but only after proper deliberations.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said on December 28 that the Centre would take decision on the issue within a month. However, there has been a lot of pressure from groups seeking a united Andhra Pradesh.
Sources point out that there is a likelihood of the Congress trying to buy more time on the issue and make an announcement as the elections come closer. Andhra Pradesh will go to polls in 2014. There are two options before the Centre -- the first would be to divide the state while the second would be to create a Telangana Regional Council which would understand the problems of the region better, they added.
Sonia Gandhi held a fresh round of consultations on Wednesday with Azad, Shinde, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Ahmed Patel, political Secretary to the Congress chief.
"I don't think one month .....(deadline should be taken so literally). When one says tomorrow, it does not mean tomorrow morning. When one says one week, sometimes it is two weeks," Azad said when told that the Centre's one-month deadline on Telangana issue is fast approaching.
Declining to set any deadline, he said what is important is that the Congress high command is making serious efforts so as to resolve the issue as early as possible.
Azad's statement came amid hectic consultations at the highest levels in government amid speculation over various options to resolve the tangle.
Among the various ideas, one is said to be the creation of a territorial administration on the lines of Bodoland and Gorkhaland for the backward region.
Two separate delegations from Telangana and outside Telangana regions met several central leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday articulating their views on the sensitive issue but got no assurance from anyone.
A delegation of five Ministers and 18 MLAs from Telangana region met Shinde separately yesterday and told him that nothing short of a separate state would be acceptable for them.
With inputs from PTI