The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to decide modalities for the creation of Telangana, is likely to recommend addition of two districts to the proposed state in its draft bill that would be finalised on Tuesday.
At Monday's meeting, the GoM headed by home minister Sushilkumar Shinde is learnt to have agreed to include Anantapur and Kurnool districts to the proposed Telangana state.
This will take up the number of districts in the new state to 12 and could now be called Rayalatelangana since these two districts are currently part of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.
The move will lead to equal number of Lok Sabha seats (21) in Telangana and the rest of Andhra Pradesh, besides bringing the number of assembly seats on a par (147) in the two states.
The two districts account for 28 MLAs. The parties opposed to creation of Telangana will now find it difficult to defeat the Centre's resolution in the assembly since the number of those opposed and in favour would now be equal.
Though the UPA government was contemplating creation of Rayalatelangana for months, it finally decided to go ahead after a virtual open defiance by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on the bifurcation issue.
By adding the districts to Telangana, the Centre also hopes to reduce the clout of YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who has strong presence in the Rayalaseema region. The government wants to introduce the Telangana bill in Parliament's winter session, which begins on Thursday. But given that the session lasts only 12 working days, it seems a tall order.