Seemandhra Congress leaders are suspecting a design behind the visit of AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh visit to the city on a day when President Pranab Mukherjee referred the AP Reorganisation Bill to the Legislature for its views.

They allege that he is here to divide party ranks to ensure the debate on the draft Bill goes off peacefully. Mr. Singh reportedly told Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy that there is no scope for going back on the bifurcation. Highly placed sources said when Mr. Reddy sought to impress upon him that there was more than 40 days time, Mr. Singh reportedly hinted that the entire process should be completed as early as possible.

Mr. Singh in his interaction with PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana asked whether at least 40-50 Seemandhra MLAs would toe the party line, but got a reply in the negative. With Seemandhra leaders airing different views on bifurcation, enior leaders apprehend that Mr. Singh is here to bring together a section opposed to the Chief Minister.

Though some Ministers and senior leaders are in principle opposed to bifurcation, they had made their stand clear on toeing the party line. Given this background, there are suspicions that Mr. Singh could rally these leaders together which, in turn, could translate into isolating the Chief Minister and his loyalists.

“He is here as an emissary of the party leadership to convince leaders to toe the party line as is evident from his body language,” a senior leader told The Hindu. Equally significant is the decision of a majority of Seemandhra leaders not to meet the AICC emissary unless invited.

Seemandhra legislators’ forum convenor S. Sailajanath said Ministers and senior leaders had already conveyed their views against bifurcation to the party leadership. Mr. Singh’s assurance that efforts were under way to introduce the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament came as a breather to the Telangana leaders. At the same time, they had to face discomfiture when he questioned their failures.

Mr. Singh is understood to have asked why the Telangana leaders could not effectively take to the grass root level the message that ‘the Telangana process is an initiative of the Congress which gave due respect to the sentiments of the people’.