HYDERABAD: Uncertainty prevails over the Telangana government's participation in the Southern States Zonal Council meeting scheduled to be held in Kerala on September 3, which will be chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah to discuss disputes between the southern states.
The CM has been skipping these meetings since 2016, deputing the home minister and Chief Secretary on his behalf. This time, even the participation of home minister Mohd Mahmood Ali and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar looks doubtful as the CM has convened a Cabinet meeting and TRSLP meeting on the same day.
While Mahmood Ali has to attend both the meetings, the CS has to attend Cabinet meeting.
This could be a fall-out of the CM's reported anger at the Centre 'unilaterally' directing the TS government to pay over `6,756 crore power dues to AP within a month; he wants to boycott the Amit Shah meeting in protest.
A top official told this newspaper, "We are yet to receive instructions from the CM on whether to attend this meeting or not. Nothing has been finalised as yet."
The issue of power dues has sparked a fresh controversy between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. While the Centre has directed TS discoms to pay `6,756 to AP Genco for power utilised after bifurcation of the state from June 2, 2014 to June 10, 2017, TS discoms claim that AP power utilities owe `12,940 crore to Telangana.
The southern zonal council meeting could give an opportunity for the TS government to raise this issue and perhaps have it resolved.
There are expectations that the CM may send finance special chief secretary K. Ramakrishna Rao and TS Transco and Genco CMD D. Prabhakar Rao to the meeting if at all he wants Telangana to participate.
After Rao became Telangana state Chief Minister in 2014, there have been southern council meetings, in Thiruvananthapuram in 2016, Bengaluru in 2018
and Tirupati in 2021. The first two were chaired by then Union home minister Rajnath Singh and the third one by Amit Shah.
Rao skipped all the three meeetings meetings. In 2016, he deputed then home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy. In 2018 he deputed none as he was busy with Assembly elections. For the Tirupati meeting, he deputed home minister Mahmood Ali and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar....