As the Congress leadership appears to be inching closer to taking a decision on the issue of separate Telangana, interesting questions are being raised on the contours of the new State, in case a decision goes in favour of bifurcation. Anxious to know the high command’s pulse, a group of senior leaders and MPs from Telangana are camping in New Delhi and lapping up every word being circulated in the higher echelons of the party in the capital.

Telangana leaders are firm that they would not compromise on anything short of a separate State with 10 districts, including Hyderabad. Leaders are, however, not ruling out the possibility of Rayala Telangana with two districts – Kurnool and Anantapur – getting merged in the new State in the event of the Centre taking a favourable decision. The arrangement entails certain benefits such as sharing of equal number of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies as also prevent a possible opposition from the MIM. But the major concern expressed in the political circles is that the Rayalaseema region, with its more than 500 years history, would cease to exist as a unit. The Rayalaseema leaders argue that they would prefer alignment of the region as a whole with Telangana claiming that the people of Rayalaseema had closer ties with their Telangana counterparts rather than those from coastal Andhra.

Another factor that the leaders are pondering over is the status of Hyderabad. One section of the leadership does not mind the twin cities as a common capital for five or 10 years. But are totally opposed to the proposal made by APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana that Hyderabad should be a Union Territory for at least 25 years on the lines of Hong Kong and made part of the new State after a new capital was developed in Seemandhra.

In a related development, Speaker Nadendla Manohar called on AICC president Sonia Gandhi.