New Delhi: A decision on the contentious Telangana statehood demand will be delayed further with the Government and the Congress on Sunday stating that a "little more time" is needed to arrive at a final decision on the issue.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who had in December set a one-month deadline for a decision, said today that the consultation process is underway.
"It may take a little more time to reach a final decision," he said in a brief statement.
Congress General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad also spoke on similar lines saying "further consultations" with leaders from Andhra Pradesh are required.
"We need some more consultations with senior leaders of Andhra Pradesh of all three regions and for that we shall have to invite them here," he said.
"We are also going to invite the Chief Minister and PCC chief for further consultations," he said.
"There is no deadline but we will invite them as early as possible," he said when asked whether there is any deadline for the meeting.
Shinde had on December 28, 2012 said the Centre would announce a decision on the contentious issue in a month.
However, Azad on January 23 indicated that the decision may be delayed.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has been holding hectic consultations with her senior colleagues like Azad, Shinde, Vayalar Ravi and Ahmed Patel for the past few days.
The Core Committee of the Congress had met yesterday and discussed the issue, but no decision was taken.
The meeting of the Congress Core Group deliberated exclusively on the vexed issue at a time when Andhra Pradesh is divided on regional lines on the issue.
The party high command has been grappling with the issue as there has been no unanimity among the top leaders.