Ahead of the Cabinet meeting to take a call on the Telangana issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday held consultations with top party leaders in New Delhi.

The meeting comes at a time when there are protests in Andhra Pradesh over the proposal to have a larger Rayal-Telangana state.

The meeting of the Congress core group, headed by Ms. Gandhi, comes ahead of the meeting of the Union Cabinet which is expected to take a decision on the Telangana issue.

Indications after the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting on Telangana yesterday were that the issue of creation of Rayal-Telangana was still open and it was for the Cabinet to take a final decision.

The proposal entails dividing all four districts of Rayalaseema region equally and amalgamating two of them -- Kurnool and Anantapuram -- in Telangana, thereby creating the Rayala Telangana state.

The core group also deliberated on the strategy for the winter session of Parliament which began today.

The government has already said that passage of Women’s Reservation Bill and Lokpal Bill are high on its agenda.

Parties like Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and RJD are opposed to the Women’s Reservation Bill in its present form.