Signalling that the UPA government was committed to passing the Telangana bill during the winter session, there were murmurs that Parliament could be re-convened after a short break if the government misses the December 20 deadline.
The winter session will be held between December 5 and 20.
Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde – who heads the group of ministers on Telangana – on Thursday said the government was trying to complete the process as soon as possible and could place the bill before the cabinet as early as next week.
Once the cabinet clears the bill, it will be sent to the President who will refer it to the Andhra assembly and legislative council for its view. Since it can be introduced in Parliament only after the process is completed, the Centre is planning to ask the Rashtrapati Bhavan to give the state assembly not more than a fortnight to debate the bill.
Sources said the Congress did not want the bill to spill over to the budget session and could re-convene the winter session even in January, if necessary.
Government sources said the bill would leave most of the contentious issues, including water sharing of Krishna river, to be resolved by the chief ministers of the two successor states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
“But it is clear that it will be a clean split with no conditions attached,” a source said.