With the January 5 all-party meeting here bringing back peace in Andhra Pradesh, the Centre wants to be careful while deciding on the “mechanism” it proposes to have to continue the process of formation of a Telangana State.

Sources said the Home Ministry wanted to be cautious. For, any announcement should not rekindle passions of the people who have been agitating for and against Telangana.

The Congress core committee met under the chairmanship of party president Sonia Gandhi at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence on Friday evening to discuss the issue.

Besides Dr. Singh, party seniors and Union Ministers including Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram and Ms. Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, participated.

Mr. Chidambaram briefed the committee on the views of various parties on the imbroglio.

While Mr. Patel said the Telangana issue was thoroughly discussed and no decision was arrived at on the “mechanism,” it is learnt the committee discussed various options to widen consultations with stakeholders including students, government employees and farmers. One of them was appointment of a time-bound committee, headed by a retired or serving judge, to do the job. Besides seeking views from various quarters on how to go about the issue, it is likely to study other anticipated issues such as sharing of Krishna/Godavari rivers, demarcation of State boundaries and transfer/appointment of officials.

However, there is some hesitation in the government over this as the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti have already announced that they would oppose formation of any committee which, they said, “will be nothing but an attempt to buy time.”

Moreover, it is said, the TRS clearly told Mr. Chidambaram that he should chair all meetings on Telangana and these should be held only in Delhi, and the “mechanism” should be announced in the next few days. The party said it could not wait for long.

No second SRC

While ruling out the setting up of a second States Reorganisation Commission (with parties opposing any such idea as the first SRC took nearly two years to submit its report), the sources said the Centre took the Telangana issue as a special case as the statehood demand had been there for over five decades. Moreover, the subject involved bifurcation of a State which was formed following the merger of two States (Hyderabad State and Andhra State that was carved out of the Madras presidency) in the 1950s.