It looks like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is trying to take proper mileage out of the proposed Southern Zonal Council meeting to be held in Tirupati on November 14. The meeting will have all the CMs from south India participating which will be presided by Union home minister Amit Shah. Jagan wants take political gain out of this meet and will be proving the point that AP is in need of Special Category Status (SCS)!
The 29th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council meeting will be attended by Chief Ministers of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in addition to Lieutenant Governors of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. The zonal council meetings are held for better coordination between the States and to resolve pending inter-State issues.
The last meeting of the council was scheduled to be held in Tirupati on March 4, but was cancelled as Amit Shah could not attend it. Several issues between the two Telugu States, including the pending promises of the State reorganization, are expected to come up for discussion during the meeting.
Meanwhile Jagan has instructed officials to ensure that key issues pertaining to the state should be brought up in the meeting. The CM said that they will be raising issues like arrears that are due to Andhra Pradesh from Tamil Nadu for the Telugu Ganga project, the Polavaram project, Rs 6,300 crore pending electricity arrears, revenue deficit, and arrears from Telangana state. The meeting also resolved to pitch for SCS provision to the state.
Pending issues with Telangana related to the State Formation Act have been included in the agenda and would be taken up by the AP government. Also in the agenda was pending dues from Tamil Nadu, revenue shortfall, civil supplies arrears from Telangana and rational allocation of PDS rice by the Union government.
Despite many questioning if it was the right venue to take up the issue of SCS, Jagan seems to be stubborn to raise the issue with the Union home minister. The response which they get from Amit Shah will be used by YSRCP chief in snubbing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, say veteran politicians. If the agenda is to corner BJP with SCS issue, then the AP CM has his cards laid out perfectly correct, but if it is a non-issue in the Council meeting, then he will at loss of face among the people of AP.
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