With the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh facing growing heat on the demand for a separate Telangana state, the party's state chief D Srinivas arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday to meet president Sonia Gandhi to discuss a way out of the impasse.
Srinivas said the Congress was not against the demand for Telangana, "but it is a sensitive issue".
"We have placed the demand before the high command," he told reporters in New Delhi.
The issue has gained urgency with unrest in Andhra Pradesh mounting as Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao's fast-unto-death entered its 10th day on Tuesday.
Srinivas said he had sought a meeting with the Congress president. "It's her birthday on Wednesday. If I get time, I will meet her," he said. Sonia is in Jharkhand to campaign for the assembly elections -- the third round is being held on Tuesday.
Congress leaders from the Andhra Pradesh, who did not want to be quoted, said there was divergence of views in the state unit on the issue of statehood with leaders from Telangana supporting it but those from other parts of the state not inclined towards the demand.
Following intensification of agitation in support of Telangana statehood, Gandhi had Monday consulted senior colleagues, including Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that the government bring a bill or resolution on the issue.
"The prime minister should at least make a statement in parliament clearing the government's stand," BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said in Delhi on Tuesday. "In my knowledge, no party is opposed to Telangana statehood. Why is the Congress delaying a decision."
Naidu said the Congress would be responsible for the consequences of the agitation in Telangana.
A senior Congress leader indicated that the government could convene an all-party meeting in New Delhi to find a way to deal with the demand for statehood.-*