After Parliamentarians, it was the turn of legislators from Andhra Pradesh to come knocking at the doors of the senior leadership in the Government and the Congress on Thursday with their apprehensions over the bifurcation of the State.
A group of 10 MLAs from the Andhra-Rayalaseema region met Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram besides Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel in a bid to mount pressure against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
After their meeting with the central leaders, J.C. Diwakar Reddy, a former minister and member of the Assembly, told journalists that the MLAs had been given a categorical assurance that nothing would be done in a hurry. "Since all our doubts have been clarified, we appeal to the people to give up their fast and urge students to return to class," he said.
The MLAs also hope to meet allies of the Congress at the Centre in a bid to seek their support in mounting pressure on the Government to stall the bifurcation.
The allies are being tapped in view of their opposition to bifurcation, a view they articulated in the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs which met on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress central leadership is understood to have told the legislators that there will be no forward movement on the December 9 statement, announcing the initiation of the process for creating Telangana, till the State Assembly passed a resolution to this effect. This was the route adopted for the creation of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, and the Centre had no intention of deviating from the path.
As for the MLAs' demand that no whip be issued if and when the resolution is brought to the Assembly, the central leadership is said to have been receptive. In fact, one Congress leader told a Lok Sabha member from coastal Andhra last week: "Why are you agitating? Why don't you defeat the resolution in the Assembly if you are so against it?"
Many an advocate for an integrated Andhra has been at the receiving end of the Centre's ire. When they approached the Congress leaders protesting against the bifurcation, the MLAs' silence till date on the issue was questioned.
"When the Telangana leaders were demanding a separate State, why were you not equally vocal in demanding an integrated Andhra?" is the question that is often put to them as they seek to argue that the silent majority in the State is against bifurcation.