Jagan to meet PM Modi over funds, politics
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Md Illyas
VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Reddy will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 10.30am on Monday. Jagan left for Delhi from Tadepalli on Sunday night and will stay at the 1 Janpath residence, his office here said.
The CM would discuss matters like Polavaram funds with the PM. Sources suspect a political agenda is also likely behind the sudden tour of the CM to Delhi in view of the swift changes in political turfs in the two Telugu states.
This will be Jagan’s second meeting with Modi in less than three months. The previous meeting took place on June 2. Matters ranging from the Centre compensating the revenue deficit, Polavaram, NREGS, sanction for new medical colleges etc would come up for discussion between the two. In the last meeting, the CM urged the PM to release funds of `32,625 crore for pending bills under the 10th Pay Commission, including a financial package for rebuilding Discoms, senior citizen pensions and loan waiver for farmers.
The CM will once again stress on Polavaram funds on Monday. He had urged the Centre to approve the revised cost estimates of `55,548.87 crore as the technical advisory committee had already approved this. He had also wanted the drinking water component of the Polavaram project to be considered as an integral part of the project structure and follow the same approach as of other national projects. He had also reminded the Centre that the state government was not paid the `905.51 crore that was spent on the project.
Jagan had also urged the Centre to provide an R&R package to the displaced families in DBT manner, which ensured transparency. His requests regarding Polavaram did not yield good results. Hence, the CM will raise the Polavaram funds issue once more.
The pending funds transfer of ` 6,627.86 crore receivable by the Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation Ltd (APGENCO) from the Telangana government would also be explained once again by requesting the Centre to direct the concerned authorities to settle the dues at the earliest. If this is done, the state power sector will be financially strengthened.
The chief minister, in the past meeting, pointed out that the previous TD government in AP had gone on a borrowing spree beyond the prescribed limits from 2016-17 to 2018-19. However, a cut is being imposed by the YSRC government on the current borrowings.
The debt ceiling has been slashed by `17,923 crore in the last three years. Now, the CM is likely to reiterate the request to the Centre to take a positive decision vis-à-vis the cuts on borrowings.
The inadequate coverage of beneficiaries under NFSA (National Food Security) Act, approval for setting up 12 new medical colleges in the state to cater to the needs of 26 districts, renewal of the approvals of the site clearances for the greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram, as also for iron mining for setting up an Integrated Steel Plant in YSR district for supply of iron ore, apart from other pending issues, will be discussed by the CM in Delhi, official said.
Meanwhile, political analysts note that the politics in the two Telugu states is set for a change in view of the 2024 elections in AP and Telangana. The Telugu Desam is trying to revive its alliance with the BJP in AP by offering its cooperation to the saffron party in Telangana, where the BJP aims to oust the KCR government from power.
CM Jagan is likely to seek clarity about the stand of the BJP in AP during his meeting with the PM and will later prepare a political action plan on the basis of the outcome.