The Congress leadership’s tilt toward Rayala-Telangana stems from its hope to make gains in the next elections, and a few administrative factors.
By merging Kurnool and Anantapur of the Rayalaseeme with the proposed State of Telangana, the party thinks it can neutralise the influence of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has no base in Rayalaseema, and confining the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party to the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh.
The Congress also hopes that some of the 28 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in these two districts may go in its favour; in that case, it need not depend on the TRS in government formation. The 12 districts in Telangana and 11 in Seemandhra will have an equal number of Assembly (147) and Lok Sabha (21) seats.
The geographical contiguity of the two districts with Telangana will minimise the possibility of inter-State river water disputes, as some of the irrigation projects across the Krishna will come under Rayala-Telangana.
Furthermore, the Congress leadership seems aware that such a move will ensure a smooth discussion on the draft Telangana Bill in the Assembly. If the strength of the MLAs from both regions remains equal (in fact, it will be less in Seemandhra owing to the disqualification of 15 MLAs), the opposition to the division of the State will be much less.