The UPA government is expected to give into the demands for the formation of a separate Telangana state, despite resistance from various Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh including the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
According to reports, the Congress top leadership is veering towards the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh, a long-standing demand that people in the Telanaga region have voiced for around 50 years on the basis of cultural identity. There are still discussions going on whether to add two Rayalaseema districts of Anantpur and Kurnool with Telangana.
The move of dividing the state was opposed by various MPs from the state and union ministers MM Pallam Raju, D Purandeshwari, K Bapiraju and Anantarami Reddy in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On Saturday, the 15 Congress ministers had threatened to resign if the party decided to bifurcate the state.
Chief Minister Reddy further refused to be part of any decision making body on dividing the state. He is believed to have told Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that 'creating Telangana is a suicidal step', reported Hindustan Times.
After the Friday meeting, Congress party general secretary Digvijaya Singh said, "The consultation process is over. Now you should await the decision of the party and the UPA government."
The coordination committee of the UPA has already decided to meet on 31 July, before the Monsoon session begins on 5 August, to get approval from the Congress allies before any announcements, indicating that a separate Telangana state is imminent.
The campaign for separate statehood took an aggressive stance when K Chandrasekhara Rao, chief leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) fasted for 10 days in 2009. His move sparked mass rallies, particularly from the youth of different parts of Telangana protesting for a separate state.
The Centre assured the masses they will decide on the issue in December 2009 itself, but had backtracked. This was followed by violent protests by activists time and again.