Leaders of the Rayalaseema region on Wednesday said it should be merged with Telangana if the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh becomes inevitable.
The leaders of various parties, who met in Hyderabad on Wednesday to chalk out their strategy to be adopted before Srikrishna Committee looking into the demand for and against separate Telangana state, strongly opposed bifurcation.
However, if the bifurcation becomes inevitable, Rayalaseema should be merged with Telangana, they felt.
Senior Congress legislator and former minister JC Diwakar Reddy said Rayalaseema would not get even a single drop of water without the consent of Telangana.
"Andhra region will have nothing to lose in the event of bifurcation but our interests will be affected," he said.
The leaders cutting across party lines appealed to people to oppose before the Srikrishna panel the demand for separate statehood for Telangana.
The leaders including YS Vivekananda Reddy, brother of late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, said the interests of the region could be protected only in an unified state.
Another Congress legislator TG Venkatesh demanded a special package for the development of Rayalaseema region which comprises four districts of Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor.
The Srikrishna Committee, formed by the central government last month, is seeking the opinion of all stakeholders, including political parties, on the demand for a separate Telangana state.
Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) legislator Shoba Nagi Reddy said Rayalaseema's interests should be protected as it sacrificed its capital.
Kurnool was the capital of Andhra state till October 1956 when Andhra was merged with Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad was made the capital.
Telangana comprises 10 districts, including Hyderabad, while nine districts make up Andhra region.