Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao deputed home minister Mahmood Ali and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on his behalf to attend the Southern Zonal Council (SZC) meeting in Tirupati on Sunday being chaired by union home minister Amit Shah.
Chief Ministers of Telangana state, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, which are the member states and Lieutenant Governors of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands, who are special invitees, have been invited to the meeting to discuss and resolve a broad range of issues, including boundary disputes, security, and infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water and power etc among member states.
The Chief Minister also deputed finance minister T. Harish Rao to take part in the meeting convened by union finance minister Nirmala Sithraman with Chief Ministers and finance ministers of states on Monday in virtual mode to discuss measures to attract private investments to boost the economy.
Party sources said the Chief Minister decided to skip both the meetings convened by the Centre on Sunday and Monday.
The Southern Zonal Council meeting was supposed to be held on March 4 this year but was eventually postponed due to Covid second wave. Besides around 100 senior officials including chief secretaries, government advisors and heads of various departments were also invited to the meeting. The Centre holds these meetings once in two years. The meeting could not be held in 2020 due to Covid pandemic.
After Rao became Telangana state Chief Minister in 2014, two such meetings were held in Thiruvananthapuram in 2016 and Bengaluru in 2018 which were chaired by then Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
Rao skipped both the meetings. In 2016, he deputed then home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy on his behalf while in 2018 he deputed none as he was busy with Assembly elections.
With Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S .Jagan Mohan Reddy deciding to raise the long-pending AP bifurcation-related issues and the Krishna water dispute with Telangana state in the meeting, Rao directed the Telangana state delegation to present the state’s arguments effectively in the meeting.
Jagan announced to raise the issue of Telangana owing arrears of Rs 6,300 crore to AP Discoms, Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation arrears to AP, Telangana freezing fixed deposits lying in banks and also bifurcation of assets pertaining to common institutions in Hyderabad listed under Schedule IX, X of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
However, Telangana state has been denying owing any arrears to AP and also opposing the division of assets in Hyderabad. Jagan also announced to raise the demand of bringing Jurala dam in Telangana under the control of KRMB, which is being opposed by Telangana.
The Telangana delegation gathered all the documents and proofs to be presented in the meeting to counter AP's claims on TS government owing arrears to AP....