With the month-long time deadline set by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to resolve the vexatious Telangana issue having ended on Sunday, he sought more time stating that the decision might get delayed as consultations with stakeholders were still on and it might take a little time to reach a final decision.

Earlier, echoing the same view, Congress general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party wanted to go in for further consultations by interacting with leaders of the Telangana and Seemandhra regions, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana.

Asked for the deadline within which the decision would be taken, Mr. Azad said: “There is no deadline but the talks will be held as soon as possible.”

The announcement of the Ministers disappointed Telangana protagonists who were hoping that this time the Centre would honour its promise of announcing the decision on the separate State demand . Mr. Shinde, after an all-party meeting on the subject here on December 28 last, said the Centre’s decision would be taken in a month’s time.

As the stir for the separate State restarted in Hyderabad and elsewhere on Sunday by the Telangana Joint Action Committee as well as those who are for continuation of a united Andhra Pradesh, informed sources said the Centre wanted to tread very carefully on the issue as it involved not only of tackling the law and order problem but also the survival of the UPA-II regime at the Centre and the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh.

While MPs from Telangana had threatened to quit the post and the Congress and join the Telangana Rashtra Samiti if Telangana assurance was not honoured, those from the Seemandhra region have threatened to join hands with the YSR Congress if the State was divided.

Considering the catch-22 situation faced by the Centre as well as the Congress, there was no other alternative except to drag the issue further, the sources said.