Even as the Congress leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are lobbying hard in New Delhi against any move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, their counterparts from Telangana on Monday ruled out withdrawing their resignations unless the centre initiates the process to carve out a separate state.
The MPs, state ministers and legislators also rejected the invitation of party's central leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for talks saying they would go to Delhi only after Azad withdraws his recent statement.
Azad, who is Congress general secretary incharge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, had stated that the process for formation of Telangana can't move an inch without the state assembly passing an unanimous resolution.
Fifteen MPs and over 100 legislators belonging to various parties in Telangana submitted their resignations early this month to press the demand for a separate state.
MP G Sukhender Reddy told reporters after a meeting of Telangana leaders that there is no question of taking back the resignations. "We will consider withdrawing our resignations only after the centre begins the process for formation of separate state," he said.
Senior leader and Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao said there was pressure on them from the central leadership, but made it clear that their stand on Telangana was unchangeable.
He said majority of leaders were opposed to going to Delhi for talks. "However, the steering committee is not against talks per se as we can achieve Telangana through talks," he said.
The meeting decided to intensify the agitation by taking it to grassroots level. The leaders will undertake "satyagrah" in all mandals. They are also considering a proposal to hold a public meeting on Hyderabad on Aug 30.
Meanwhile, a group of Congress leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions began lobbying in Delhi for "samaikhya Andhra" or united Andhra.
MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao said they were opposed to bifurcation of the state.
The group is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony over next two days to argue their case.