A decision on Telangana may be delayed with Congress today seeking to buy more time to resolve the vexed issue despite the Jan 28 deadline set by the Centre to decide the matter.
An indication to this effect was given by AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad after a fresh round of consultations Sonia Gandhi had with senior party leaders on the contentious issue.
Besides Azad, who is General Secretary in charge of party affairs in Andhra
Pradesh, the meeting was attended by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to the Congress chief.
"I don't think one month .....(deadline should be taken so literally). When one says tomorrow, it does not mean tomorrow morning. When one says one week, sometimes it is two weeks", Azad said when told that the Centre's one-month deadline on Telangana issue is fast approaching.
Declining to set any deadline, he said what is important is that the Congress high command is making serious efforts so as to resolve the issue as early as possible.
The Home Minister had said on December 28 that the Centre would take the decision on the issue within a month.
Azad's statement came amid hectic consultations at the highest levels in government amid speculation over various options to resolve the tangle.
Among the various ideas, one is said to be the creation of a territorial administration on the lines of Bodoland and Gorkhaland for the backward region.
Two separate delegations from Telangana and outside Telangana regions met several central leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, yesterday articulating their views on the sensitive issue but got no assurance from anyone.
A delegation of five Ministers and 18 MLAs from Telangana region met Shinde separately yesterday and told him that nothing short of a separate state would be acceptable for them.