Creation of a Telangana state on Friday night appeared to be a real possibility after the top Congress leadership held prolonged deliberations on the contentious issue.
A call may be taken after the conclusion of the local bodies elections in Andhra Pradesh on July 31 and the final decision will be left to be formalized by Congress' highest decision-making body the Working Committee in the first week of August, highly-placed sources said.
The day was marked by hectic consultations between senior Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad, the present and former General Secretaries incharge of party affairs in Anhdra Pradesh, with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajnarsimha separately.
This was followed by the Congress Core Group meeting, chaired by Sonia Gandhi and attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and key cabinet ministers including Sushilkumar Shinde, P Chidambaram and A K Antony.
"The consultation process is over. Now wait for the decision of the party as well as the UPA government," AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijay Singh, told reporters after the Core Group meeting.
Earlier in the day, Digvijay Singh had said the process of consultation is over and the time for a decision has come.
During Friday's consultations, the Chief Minister was said to have been opposed to the division of the state.
The party and the UPA government have to take a decision whether to create Telangana with only 10 districts falling under the region or have Kurnool and Ananthapur districts from Rayalseema to be included. If those two districts are added, then the new state could be named as RayalaTelangana, a proposal the people of Telangana would stoutly oppose.
Sources said the UPA government may also like to consult its allies before bringing a bill in the monsoon session of parliament.
Main opposition BJP is strongly backing the demand forthe creation of Telangana.
The bill needs only a vote by simple majority for passge in parliament.