The battle lines were drawn between Andhra Pradesh government and pro-Telangana groups with the latter determined to go ahead with their proposed Telangana march on Sep 30, despite police refusing permission for it.
Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) Tuesday made it clear that march would go ahead as planned come what may and once again rejected the government's appeal to postpone the protest.
The JAC leaders met Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma, seeking permission for the march but the latter said a firm no in view of the Ganesh immersion procession and global biodiversity conference.
The JAC Tuesday stepped up its efforts to drum up more support for the march while Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy held a meeting with top police officials to review law and order situation.
The home minister said the government had appealed to all concerned parties to postpone the march in view of the United Nations conference on biodiversity.
"It is the responsibility of all of us to protect the brand Hyderabad. The government has the responsibility to ensure that people are not inconvenienced," she said.
The state government apprehend law and order problems if JAC is allowed to conduct the march.
The police officials point out that million march by the JAC last year had led to violence on Tank Bund (on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake) with the protestors vandalizing statues of several Telugu personalities.
The JAC expects over five lakh people to converge around Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city to press their demand for separate statehood to Telangana.
It has set Sep 29 as the deadline for the central government to take a decision on formation of separate state.
The government faces a huge challenge as the planned march is sandwiched between the mammoth Ganesh immersion procession on Sep 29 and the biodiversity meet, beginning on Oct 1.
Over 15,000 policemen would be deployed as part of the massive security for the annual procession and the UN meet, which is expected to be attended by 10,000 delegates from over 190 countries.
The state is also seeking the assistance of the central government to provide security for the global conference.
Thousands of Ganesh idols are immersed in Hussain Sagar and about a million people participate in the procession. As the immersion stretches to the early hours of next day, the police apprehend that the Telangana protestors may join the devotees and occupy the roads around the lake.
JAC convenor M. Kondandaram Tuesday met leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and appealed to the party to actively participate in the march.
The JAC leader made it clear that the arrests would not deter them from organising the march.
BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy and revolutionary balladeer Gaddar warned the government against any attempt to suppress the peaceful march.
Congress MPs and senior leaders from Telangana have decided to participate in the march while JAC is also mounting pressure on state ministers from the region to join the protest.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Communist Party of India (CPI) besides dozens of Telangana groups have already declared their support for march.