New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday stepped up the consultation process on the contentious Telangana demand by holding discussions with Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy but dismissed the talk of President's rule in the state.

Read More: AP CM meets Pranab, Chidambaram

Narasimhan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram separately this morning during which he is understood to have briefed them about the situation in Telangana region where the strike has entered its 27th day.

As speculation mounted about a spell of central rule in the state, the Governor, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, said after a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, "there is no question of imposing President's rule.

"There is a popularly-elected government and it will function," he said.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kiran Reddy also spoke in a similar vein.

"Why should it head (towards President's rule)?  There is no question," Azad asked, while the Chief Minister wanted to know, "Why should President's rule come.  How does it come? When should President's rule be imposed? What are the parameters?".

He wondered why President's rule has become a "fancy word".  The Centre would take appropriate measures to resolve the crisis, he told reporters.

Senior Ministers--Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad--began their consultations by meeting five of their cabinet colleagues from the state separately to get their views on the Telangana issue, which has virtually divided the Congress on regional lines.

Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo, Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari and Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju met the ministers and gave their "frank" assessment of the situation.

The ministers also met PCC chief Bosta Satyanarayana and former PCC chief D Srinivas.

Azad said the consultation within the Congress would resume on Monday and that the process would take some more time.

He said he cannot give a time line as to when the consultation process within the Congress would end.

"I cannot give a time line. We met nine leaders from Andhra Pradesh on Saturaday and we will be meeting some others on Monday. The process is on. It will take some time," he told reporters.

Asked whether the process would involve leaders from other parties, the Congress General Secretary said a decision to this effect has not yet been taken.

After the meeting, Kiran Reddy said the Centre would soon resolve the statehood issue in an "amicable" manner that would "satisfy the aspirations of the people".

Grappling with the pro-Telangana agitation, Reddy rushed to the capital along with his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and held consultations with the senior Ministers.

He briefed the leaders about the situation in the state in the wake of the agitation and gave his opinion on the separate statehood demand.

"I have given my opinion. I said the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh should be satisfied. Soon there would be an amicable solution that would be beneficial to the people of the state," he told reporters here.

To a question, Chief Minister said the Central leaders would take a decision on the issue soon.

"The issue of Telangana is there for a long time. Now, it is (highlighted) because of the persistent agitation. The Central are talking to leaders. I think they will try to solve it as soon as possible," he said.

To a volley of questions, he said the decision would be taken only by the Centre and that he is not in a "position to give a decision".

Jaipal Reddy told reporters that he has interacted with his colleagues and gave them his assessment of the situation in Andhra Pradesh.

"I gave a frank assessment. I can't share the details with the media," he said.

Telangana row:MPs threaten to go on fast

Seeking to mount pressure on the Centre towards accepting the demand for separate statehood, Telangana Congress MPs on Saturday threatened to join the ongoing agitation and go on an indefinite fast.

"If there is no positive response from the Centre we plan to take up fast-unto-death for achieving our goal in consultations with the leaders of other parties and the people's organisations," Congress MP Madhu Yashik Goud told reporters here after a meeting of party MPs from the region.

Noting that the Telangana Congress MPs have been making efforts towards achieving the separate state goal, Congress MP M Jaganndham said they would launch 'direct action' like indefinite fast as culmination of such efforts.

Highlighting the need for accepting the demand, they want the Centre to announce a road map for formation of the separate state quickly.

"The Governor, Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, PCC President and former PCC President who have been called to Delhi should explain to the Central leadership about the need for accepting the demand. This is a historical occasion when all sections of people are participating in the ongoing strike," Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar said.

The pro-Telangana group including the government employees has been participating in 'Sakala Januala Samme' (strike by all sections of people) since September 13.

Senior ministers elicit views of colleagues

Senior Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram elicited the views of their junior cabinet colleagues and the Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana statehood demand, which has virtually divided the party on regional lines.

Mukherjee and Chidambaram met Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari and Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju separately here during which they sought to know their views on the contentious issue.

The consultation process came a day after Mukherjee, Chidambaram and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad deliberated on the Telangana issue at length amid indications that protesters in the region would intensify their agitation for a separate state.

The process is also seen as an attempt to get the views of party leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions on the statehood demand.

After the meeting, both Purandeswari and Raju said they expressed their opinion on the issue.

"They asked us to give our opinion. I gave mine and also spoke about people's apprehensions," she said.

Raju said besides giving his opinion, he told the leaders that the "impasse" should end soon and an early decision on the issue should be taken.

(Agencies)