With the UPA coordination committee expected to meet on July 31 to discuss the contentious Telangana issue, Congress leaders from Seemandhra are contemplating to quit all government and party posts in anticipation of the widely expected move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Many central leaders from AP are planning to take the "extreme step" as early as Monday to send a strong message to the Congress high command that is understood to have given its nod for the creation of Telangana.
In a move to save their political careers, as many as 15 state ministers from coastal AP and Rayalaseema have already said they would have no option but to quit, if a decision is taken to go ahead with formation of Telangana state.
AP chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has already issued a veiled threat that he will not preside over any decision to divide the state.
HT was first to report that Reddy had told Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders that "creating Telangana will be a suicidal step and that it would be difficult for me to preside over any move to bifurcate the state. I will not be a party to any destructive decision".
The UPA panel meeting will be followed by that of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party, that is expected to take a final call on the Telangana issue.
The Congress leadership is said to be discussing various proposals such as creating Telangana with ten districts or a Rayala-Telangana that will have 12 districts, including two Anantapur and Kurnool from Rayalaseema region. Hyderabad could be a union territory and joint capital for a fixed period of time.
The fast-tracking of Telangana has also reignited demands for separate states of Gorkhaland and Bodoland, a move that is a cause of concern for the Congress. The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, which is spearheading the separate statehood campaign, has called a 72-hour strike from Monday.