The Congress' top leadership decided to rally firmly behind the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh as the party prepares to face the Telangana issue after an official committee submits its report on the statehood issue by this month-end.
Party leaders reckon the divisive issue of Telangana could come to the fore once again once the Justice Srikrishna Commission's report on the issue is out before its deadline of December 31.
They said the meeting discussed ways and means to strengthen the hands of the Reddy government in a situation in the wake of the Commission's report and possible attempts by former party MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy to derive mileage on the issue.
Jaganmohan quit the party and is likely to float a political party. The Congress in Andhra Pradesh itself is divided on Telangana issue.
Sources said the Core Group meeting presided by party chief Sonia Gandhi and attend by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among others also discussed the dissidence in the party-led government in the state over portfolio allocation.
Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, was specially called for the meeting which took place close on the heels of the rebellion in the Reddy cabinet over portfolios.
A senior woman minister from Telangana region J Geetha Reddy, a key contender for Deputy Chief Minister's post in the state, was understood have met Gandhi in New Delhi. The party has already announced that it will have a Deputy Chief Minister from Telangana region, a move intended to address regional aspirations.
Senior ministers Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress president, also attended the meeting which took place on a day when Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar accepted the resignation of Jaganmohan Reddy.