Grappling with the issue of a separate Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh, Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, held deliberations in New Delhi on Friday on the subject.
The growing clamour for a separate Telangana has been a ticklish issue for the party which is divided over it on regional lines. Home Minister P Chidambaram was present at the meeting, after which sources said there would be further consultations with party MPs from the state, especially from the Telangana region.
With the Congress buffeted by the Telangana issue and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's rebellion, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee held a meeting with Congress MPs from Telangana and has asked them to "co-operate". The MPs have remained firm on their demand insisting that there was no question of going back.
"We are not going to rest with anything other than the separate state of Telangana", has been the refrain among them.
Seeking to buy time, the Congress high command appears to be toying with the idea of having a Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief in Andhra Pradesh from the Telangana region, amid growing clamour for a separate state.
Consequently, the AICC on Friday announced that PCC Chief D Srinivas, who hails from Telangana, would continue till further orders.
The Congress has so far maintained a wait and watch approach on the challenge thrown up by the Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana, which has given various options, including keeping the state united as well as formation of a separate Telangana.
The party is banking heavily on newly installed Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to tackle the situation.
The deliberations by the top Congress leadership were the first after rebel leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy took his battle to Delhi by organising a one day fast here, which was attended by two dozen Congress MLAs including a few from the Telangana region.