Jagan meets Shah, raises special status for Andhra

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and raised the issue of special category status for his state as well as an amicable settlement of all contentious issues with neighbouring Telangana.

In his over 15-minute meeting, Reddy also informed the Home Minister about the issues of sharing of river waters and division of assets and liabilities among others between the two Telugu-speaking states.

“I took an appointment with Home Minister today (Friday) evening to try and prevail on him, to also soften PM’s heart on special category status… what we will definitely be asking for in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) NITI Aayog meeting,” Jagan, as the leader is popularly known, told media after the meeting.

“The agenda of my visit was tomorrow’s NITI Aayog meeting. Tomorrow we will be presenting our case to the NITI Aayog, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.”

Reacting to reports that Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker’s post will be offered to his YSR Congress Party, Reddy said: “First of all there is nothing offered. We haven’t asked, neither any proposal of that sort have come from any quarter. So please don’t speculate these kinds of things.”

In the last five years, there was more hostility than cordiality between the TRS government in Telangana, carved out of Andhra Pradesh, and the Telugu Desam Party dispensation in Andhra Pradesh, due to political reasons.

Last year, the TDP had even gone on a collision course with the Central government.

The Governor, common to both the states, arranged a couple of meetings with the Chief Ministers and subsequently, a three-member ministers group was formed on each side to resolve the issues but no headway was made.

In the four years that it remained part of the NDA government at the Centre, the TDP failed to achieve much it was due to get, according to the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

But now, the YSR Congress government headed by Reddy has begun with an advantage of having a non-confrontationist, if not friendly, relationship with both the TRS government and the Centre, springing hope of ending the impasse.

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