Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior ministerial colleagues on Tuesday counselled patience to lawmakers from non-Telangana regions in Andhra Pradesh on the contentious statehood demand and asked them to continue engaging with the party leadership on the issue.
The Ministers, MPs and MLAs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions met Singh, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, defence minister AK Antony, home minister P Chidambaram and health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, insisting that the Centre and Congress should not take any step that would hurt the unity of the state.
Their meetings came as lawmakers from Telangana region accepted an invitation from to come to New Delhi for talks, a day after rejecting Azad's offer in protest against his alleged "anti-Telangana" remarks. They will be in Delhi this week-end.
However, Azad also "clarified" that his remarks in Beijing on the Telangana demand was twisted by the media.
The large delegation led by higher education minister K Sailajanath and senior MP KS Rao met Singh for over 30 minutes and apprised him of the situation in the state.
Briefing reporters about the meeting, Sailajanath said the Prime Minister gave a patient hearing to them on all the issues.
"The Prime Minister asked us to be patient. As disciplined Congress workers, he said everyone should wait (for a decision to be taken). He told us that he will convey our sentiments to Azad," Sailajanath said.
Singh's colleagues also spoke to the lawmakers in a similar vein, asking them to be "patient" and give their views to Azad, the party in-charge for Andhra Pradesh.