Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister designate Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday said he had prayed to God not to give more than 250 Lok Sabha seats to the party taking power at the Centre so that he can make it grant special category status to the state in exchange for legislative support but unfortunately the BJP got more than 300 seats.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief, who is set to take oath as the Chief Minister on May 30, said this at a press conference here after his separate meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, who requested Modi to accord Special Category Status (SCS) to the state as announced in Parliament at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, admitted that his party can do very little in demanding or commanding the new government at the Centre.
“If they had got 250 seats, I could have made them sign the order on SCS before swearing-in but unfortunately they got overwhelming majority. They don’t even need our support,” said Jagan, as the YSRCP chief is popularly known.
During an hour-long meeting with Modi, he requested him to show magnanimity even in the position of strength.
“He listened to the whole thing. He was positive about helping the state and its people. It is a good sign. I am hoping that things will work out positively,” the YSRCP chief said.
The YSRCP, which stormed to power in the state with a landslide victory, also won 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Asked about his meeting with Amit Shah, Jagan remarked that this was to request the “second-most powerful man” to persuade the “most powerful man” in helping the state.
He said he invited both Modi and Shah to attend his swearing-in ceremony in Vijayawada but did not get confirmation from them.
The YSRCP leader said he explained to Modi that the state required SCS and the assistance from the Centre as its financial position was weak.
“The public debts which were Rs 90,000 crore at the time of bifurcation rose to Rs 2.57 lakh crore during Chandrababu Naidu’s five-year rule.”
Jagan said the state was surviving on overdraft as it was spending Rs 40,000 crore every year just to repay debts.
To another query, he said only he would take oath on May 30 and he planned to expand the cabinet in a week or 10 days.