Over the past one week, the Congress party’s Central leaders have stepped up efforts to find a solution to the contentious issue of Statehood for Telangana and arrest the further slide in its fortunes in the region

Their prime concern is to put an end to the defections by coming out with a formula that will satisfy the people of the region. They realise that the party cannot afford to lose its base by remaining indifferent to the burning issue when the general elections are less than a year away.

Some Ministers have openly declared that they will not contest elections if Telangana is not announced. The ‘Chalo Assembly’ rally and the growing unrest among people have brought the Statehood issue back to limelight.

Highly placed sources said that the Congress Core Committee held brainstorming sessions three times in the last five days to find a solution acceptable to people of all the regions. Reliable sources said the Central leadership also held in-depth consultations with former PCC chief D. Srinivas in the last two days. Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana too were consulted by the high command.

After their meeting with the party’s top brass in New Delhi, Congress leaders from Telangana believe that the high command is determined to put an end to the tricky issue. What was delaying the decision was the fear of the implications in other States and in Seemandhra if a decision was taken in favour of bifurcating AP, the leader told The Hindu. They are hopeful that once the Assembly session concludes on June 21, the high command would begin another round of consultations with Congress leaders from all regions.

According to sources, the options it is mulling are: a special development package for Telangana, a package with a Chief Minister from Telangana and outright bifurcation of the State. The last option is being pushed by Telangana leaders who are confident of putting up a good show in the region to compensate the likely setbacks in the Seemandhra region at the hands of the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam.

Staff Reporter from Palakkad adds: Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said that “the issue of the demand for Telangana will find a solution after a consensus on it is established among various political parties and sections of the society”. Talking to The Hindu here on Saturday, he said that the “Central government is seized of the matter and consultations at various levels are on”. When asked about the “Chalo Assembly” rally in Hyderabad on Friday, the Governor said that the “State government had handled the agitation well”.