New Delhi: A decision on the demand for a separate Telangana will miss the Jan 28 deadline with both the central government and the Congress Sunday saying amid an intensified pro-Telangana agitation that the "consultation process" was on and the final decision will take more time.
"The consultation process on Telangana issue is on. It may take little more time to reach a final decision," Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in a brief statement here after it appeared certain that the Jan 28 deadline set by him last month to decide on the vexed issue would be missed.
At an all-party meeting Dec 28, Shinde had said the government will decide on the issue within a month.
On Monday, he flies to Dhaka to sign the Indo-Bangladesh extradition treaty.
"More consultations are needed on the issue," said Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Azad, who is in charge of the state.
Azad said he "will call Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayan and senior state leaders to Delhi for further consultations".
Party insiders said leaders in Andhra Pradesh remain divided on the issue on regional lines.
Leaders from all the three regions - Telangana, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra - of the state would be called, said Azad.
"We hope to call them for consultations over the next few days," he said adding: "It was for the union home ministry to fix a real time-limit for a decision on the vexed issue."
The Congress core group including party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the issue Saturday with Shinde, Azad and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel.
Gandhi has been discussing the complex issue with senior party leaders over the past week, said party sources.
In Hyderabad, hundreds of people demanding a separate state gathered after police granted permission to the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to hold demonstration in the city.