Appearing to put the Telangana issue on the backburner, the Centre on Wednesday said that the situation in Andhra Pradesh had 'altered' since the announcement on creation of a separate state.
Wide-ranging consultations would now be held with all political parties and groups in the state, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in a statement, adding that the Centre will take 'steps to involve all concerned in the process'.
Recalling his December 9 statement in which he had announced that the process of forming Telangana would be initiated, he said that since then the situation in Andhra Pradesh had altered and that "a large number of political parties were divided on the issue".
Capping a fortnight of intense campaign by MPs of Telangana and non-Telangana regions, Chidambaram called a press conference at short notice and read out a four-paragraph statement but took no questions.
He said the Centre made the statement on December nine on receipt of minutes of a meeting of all political parties convened by Chief Minister K Rosaiah in which a 'consensus' emerged on the formation of a separate state of Telangana.
Chidambaram said, meanwhile, it is necessary that peace and harmony are restored in Andhra Pradesh and the state government is allowed to focus on governance and development.
"The central government appeals to the people of the different regions of Andhra Pradesh and to all political parties and students to withdraw their agitations and maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood," he said.
The indication of Chidambaram's statement came after a meeting of Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram, A K Antony, M Veerappa Moily and Political Secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel.
A statement was prepared and the draft was taken to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave final touches and Chidambaram made it public.
The December 9 statement was made at the height of the fast-unto-death protest launched by TRS President K Chandrashekhar Rao who withdrew the agitation on the 11th day.
Ever since, MPs and MLAs of coastal Andhra and Rayalseema region protested vehemently and carried out a campaign with almost daily meetings with central leaders and ministers demanding a statement that the creation of Telangana would not be initiated without a consensus.
Reflecting the regional divide in the state, MPs and MLAs cutting across party lines in Telangana region also mounted a counter-campaign urging the Centre not to backtrack and warned of severe repercussions.
The period was also marked by violence in non-Telangana regions against the bifurcation proposal. The state Cabinet was divided on regional lines and over 135 MLAs belonging Congress, TDP and Praja Rajyam quit their membership of the assembly.
Some MPs of Congress and TDP also resigned. But none of these resignations have been accepted.
On Monday, a delegation of non-Telangana MPs met the Prime Minister and said later that he had assured them that government would come out with a statement to "make everything in order" in the state.