The all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana has decided to wait till February 7 for the central government to constitute the committee with a time-bound programme for carving a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.
In a meeting Thursday night, the JAC also extended by 10 days the deadline for all legislators to quit over the demand for the formation of the separate state.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday announced that the central government would announce next week a committee on Telangana. The announcement came as the deadline set by JAC ended.
The central government's latest statement, however, failed to satisfy Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and other pro-Telangana parties.
At the marathon JAC meeting, leaders of the ruling Congress party managed to convince the JAC to extend the deadline.
"The Congress leaders have clarified that the proposed committee is meant for formation of Telangana state and that it will have a time-bound programme," JAC convenor M Kodandaram told reporters.
"If the centre failed to announce the committee with a clear time-frame, the MLAs (legislators) will press the assembly speaker to accept their resignations," he said.
The JAC, however, decided to intensify the agitation to mount further pressure on the central government.
The meeting witnessed heated arguments as non-political organisations in the JAC opposed the idea of extending the deadline. Their allegation that the Congress government was once again trying to mislead people with an ambiguous statement evoked sharp reaction from ruling party leaders, who claimed that they were sincere in efforts to carve out a separate state.
Main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), TRS, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other pro-Telangana groups felt that Chidambaram's announcement had again created doubts among people of Telangana. Strongly favouring a constitutional crisis to pressurise the central government, TDP leaders said a committee would serve no purpose.
Cutting across party lines, over 70 out of the 119 state legislators from the region had last month submitted their resignations to the assembly speaker.
The steering committee of the JAC will hold another meeting late Friday to chalk out its course of action.