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.