Hyderabad: “Are you still fixated upon the issue of granting of special category status to Andhra Pradesh? Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparently quipped to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy during their one-on-one discussions, when Mr Reddy raised the issue. As reported in these columns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mr Reddy had an exclusive personal discussion for about an hour on Wednesday in New Delhi at the PM’s residence.
According to reliable sources in the AP CMO, Mr Reddy had explained to Modi that there would be no additional financial burden on the centre if it grants the special category status to AP.
Mr Reddy pleaded that there would not be much difference in financial terms between the special package announced by the centre and what the state would get through the SCS. Mr Reddy apparently had told the PM, “If the centre grants special category status to AP, it will be give a boost to me (politically) besides giving a boost to industrialisation of the state,” adding that the SCS has become a sentimental issue for AP people.
As per sources close to Chief Minister Reddy, Mr Modi reportedly replied that if the centre grants SCS to AP, it would lead to more of such demands from other states.
YSRC sources said that Modi had neither said yes nor no to the request to grant SCS to AP. However, they claimed that there was a change in PM Modi’s stance on this issue compared to previous discussions.
Mr Reddy, as per sources, explained to Modi the issue of creating three capitals, and claimed confidence that he would develop Visakhapatnam on par with Hyderabad and Bengaluru within 10 years. He said that the centre had sanctioned Rs 25,000 crore for the construction of the AP capital but had released only `15,000 crore, and requested for the release of remaining funds.
Mr Reddy explained the difficulties he was facing politically with the AP legislative council, where the opposition Telugu Desam was in a majority, and requested the PM to initiate action to enable the abolition of the council.
YSRC sources said Mr Modi had responded positively, and hoped that in second part of the budget session of Parliament, the centre may introduce the AP assembly resolution on abolition of council....