A meeting of eight political parties convened by Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Monday will try to devise a mechanism and roadmap to resolve the vexed Telangana issue, even as leaders from three regions of Andhra Pradesh are sticking to their known stands.
Coming nearly a month after the Centre announced that it would initiate the process of formation of Telangana, the meeting will see the participation of Congress, TDP, TRS, Praja Rajyam, CPI(M), CPI, BJP and MIM - the eight registered political parties in Andhra Pradesh.
The conclave is expected to be a stormy affair as deep differences between leaders from Telangana and non-Telangana regions persist. Protests and road and rail rokos have been organised tomorrow in Telangana for a separate state and in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema opposing the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
Major parties like Congress and Telugu Desam are virtually divided on regional lines with leaders from Telangana pitching for a separate state and those from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions wanting a united Andhra Pradesh.
While TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, the political face of the pro-Telangana agitation, arrived here last night to attend the meeting, Chief Minister K Rosaiah landed this morning. He is also expected to hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram to discuss tomorrow's meetings and the situation in the state.
While Rao has made it clear that he will make a strong case for a separate state, PRP chief Chiranjeevi says he will pitch for a united Andhra Pradesh.
Congress, which is in a Catch-22 situation with deep divisions between its partymen from the three regions of the state, has done a delicate act by nominating one person each from Telangana and coastal Andhra regions for the meet.
Huzurnagar MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy, who hails from Telangana, and senior party MP from Eluru Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, representing coastal Andhra, will be part of the Congress team at the meeting.
However, it is not yet clear who will represent TDP, which has made a u-turn on the statehood issue after promising to support a separate state.
Congress and TDP are already under pressure from their leaders in Telangana and non-Telangana regions to stick to the stand as per the December 9 and December 23 statements respectively. While the first statement favoured a separate Telangana state, the second one called for wide-ranging consultations on the issue.
Rao had last night said he will stay put in the capital for a week to drum up support for Telangana and meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
He also said he was "optimistic" that a separate Telangana would be achieved as the "government of India has initiated the first step."