Unfazed by the Congress high command’s nod for creation of a separate State of Telangana, protagonists of a united Andhra Pradesh still believe their cause is not lost.

Digging in their heels, they are determined to impress upon the Congress leadership their conviction that bifurcation is not in the interest of either Telangana, Andhra or the country as a whole. A section of senior Congressmen says the party Core Committee members are split on the issue unable to come up with a firm solution, thanks to intractable issues such as the status of Hyderabad and the future of the Rayalaseema region.

Bifurcation would open a Pandora’s box, giving rise to similar demands for smaller States such as Bodoland and Purvanchal, besides demands from within Andhra Pradesh for Greater Rayalaseema, comprising the seven districts of Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Anantapur, Kadapa, Chittoor, Nellore and Prakasam.

“It is not an easy decision to take, considering its implications for other parts of the country. The inclusion of Kurnool and Anantapur in the proposed Telangana State is not on the Congress’s radar. Rayala-Telangana is not feasible and is as good as dropped,” a top Congress leader told The Hindu.

Some of these assessments are an extension of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s presentation to the Core Committee on July 12 when he asserted that Maoists would take just three months to recoup lost ground if AP was divided. The bifurcation would nullify all gains made in subduing the Maoists.

Mr. Kiran Reddy had argued that 14 out of the 16 central committee members of the CPI (Maoist) traced their origin to AP and that 12 of them were from Telangana. All nine members of the Odisha State committee and 12 out of the 14 in Chhattisgarh had their roots in this State.

However, his contention was countered in the presentation made later by Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarasimha, who said that four out of the eight areas identified as Maoist strongholds lay in coastal Andhra.