Since independence in 1947 the internal borders of India have been changed several times to create new, smaller states. Most recently the state of Andhra Pradesh was divided and the new state of Telangana came into existence on 2 June 2014. The following article outlines the origins of the 58-year-old demand for a state of Telangana and illuminates the political situation which made the demand possible. Under pressure from both supporters and opponents of Telangana at the regional as well as the national level, the Congress government decided to grant statehood after long internal debates. Did the Congress government initiate the state building process out of long-term considerations about governance and development, or did it do so for reasons of short-term electoral politics? If so, how did the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh influence the parliamentary and the Assembly elections in the two new states in 2014? How influential was the Telangana movement, which had campaigned for statehood for years, using strikes and demonstrations as forms of protest?