Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday dropped strong hints of announcing a drastic decision at the end of the debate on Telangana Bill, claiming: “I never expected that I will be forced to choose between the party and the cause of united Andhra Pradesh.”

It was “unfortunate’’ that he was Chief Minister when such a decision on bifurcation, which was sure to hit the prospects of both regions, was being taken. “I know that I could become the Chief Minister because of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. I will explain the reasons for (my) decision later,” he said.

Mr. Kiran Reddy was critical of the party leadership for setting aside constitutional conventions and traditions in referring the Bill to the State legislature. L. K. Advani and P. Chidambaram, erstwhile Home Ministers, announced in Parliament that an appropriate resolution would be passed for initiating the process of separate Telangana.

“Congress general secretary (Digvijay Singh) too said the issue would come (before the Assembly) twice once for resolution followed by referring the draft Bill. Why did the Government not follow the norm?” he asked. He had addressed letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to follow the established norms and conventions.

Earlier, Mr. Kiran Reddy extensively quoted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s speech in Parliament in 1972 when she made it clear that backwardness alone could not be reason enough for drastic and irreversible decisions that could have far- reaching consequences. “The solution to a smaller problem should not open the flood gates for a larger problem,” he said.