The Andhra Pradesh assembly on Thursday rejected the AP Reorganization Bill, 2013, declaring its opposition to the new state of Telangana being carved out of its territory. Nearly all the members converged in the well of the House and attempted to drown out each other’s voices, but this was just a farce, say political analysts. They predicted that the Centre will approve the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh well before the general election this May.

For one, the state assembly’s rejection of the draft bill is unlikely to have any real influence on Parliament’s decision. “Article 3 of the Constitution makes it clear that the Parliament has the complete sovereign right to adjust borders within the country and to create and name states,” said Gautam Pingle, a public policy and analyst and economist based in Hyderabad. “The draft bill is sent to the state assembly only for legislators to express their views and suggestions.”

Those views – 9,072 of them submitted in writing by nearly 160 legislators since the draft bill was tabled in the Andhra assembly on December 16 – have already been forwarded to the union home ministry for consideration.

They are unrelated to the Andhra assembly’s rejection of the draft bill for a separate Telangana state, says Pingle, who believes that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi – the party that was created in 2001 to demand the bifurcation of AP – is not really unhappy with the AP assembly rejecting the draft bill. “Telangana supporters basically wanted the bill to be sent back for tabling in the Parliament, and they are aware that the state assembly’s vote will not matter at the Centre,” he said.

The Bihar assembly, for instance, had rejected the proposal for the formulation of Jharkhand in 1998, but the state was ultimately formed in 2000 after its bill was passed in Parliament.

Andhra Pradesh was the first Indian state to be created along linguistic lines, and was itself carved out of Madras State in 1953. The agitation for Telangana statehood began 1969, when citizens of the region claimed that they’d been cheated of their resources by those in “Seemandhra”, the popular term for the regions of Rayalseema and coastal Andhra.

In July 2013, the Congress Working Committee unanimously agreed to support the formation of a separate Telangana, with Hyderabad temporarily serving as the joint capital of the split states. In December, after deliberations for two nearly months, the Union Cabinet approved of a draft bill for Telangana statehood.

This bill, along with the recommendations of AP state legislators, now awaits reviewing by the President and a Group of Ministers headed by the union home minister. A finalised bill is then likely to be tabled in the final sessions of the Parliament in February.

Now, despite the furore being raised by Andhra chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and his Congress Party workers, experts believe it is just a matter of time before Telangana is given a go-ahead by the Centre.

“There are a lot of smaller aspects of the bill that need to be sorted out, but my feeling is that there will be a very short debate in the Lok Sabha before it clears Telangana,” said Vijay Burgula, an independent researcher and political activist in Hyderabad. “The UPA and the Opposition have both indicated that they are in favour of the formation of a new state, and neither will benefit by delaying the proposal till after the general election.”

The Congress, says Burgula, has been thinking long-term – it has realised that coalition politics is here to stay, and past experience with the DMK in Tamil Nadu and Shibu Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has taught the party that it is better to ally with smaller regional parties that rule over smaller states. Telangana and the TRS, then, are important for the Congress given that the national election is round the corner.

“If the final vote on the bill is delayed and taken up after the general election, it would sound the death knell for the Congress,” said Burgula.

In fact, given that most opinion polls in the run-up to the general election indicate that the BJP is in the lead, clearing Telangana might just be UPA-2’s final victory before its term ends, says Pingle. “The chances of the new state being cleared in this winter session are very high,” he said.