Jagan to meet PM Modi on funds and politics

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 evening and will stay at Residence 1 Janpath, his office said here.

The CM would discuss issues such as Polavaram funds with the Prime Minister. Sources suspect that a political agenda is also likely to be behind the CM’s sudden Delhi tour given the rapid shifts in political territories 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. Issues ranging from the Center compensating the income deficit, Polavaram, NREGS, sanction for new medical schools, etc. would be discussed between the two. In the last meeting, the CM urged the Prime Minister to release funds of 32,625 crore for the pending bills under the 10th Salaries Commission including a financial package for the reconstruction of Discoms, the old people’s pensions and loan relief for farmers.

The CM will again insist on the Polavaram funds on Monday. He had urged the Center to approve the revised cost estimate of 55,548.87 crore as the technical advisory committee had already approved it. He also wanted the drinking water component of the Polavaram project to be considered as an integral part of the project structure and to follow the same approach as the other national projects. He had also reminded the Center that the state government had not received the 905.51 crore that had been spent on the project.

Jagan had also urged the Center to provide an R&R package to DBT-displaced families, which ensured transparency. His demands regarding Polavaram did not yield good results. Therefore, the CM will once again raise the issue of Polavaram funds.

The transfer of pending funds of `6,627.86 crore receivable by Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation Ltd (APGENCO) from the Telangana government would also be explained once again by requesting the Center to direct the authorities concerned to settle the contributions as soon as possible. If this is done, the state electricity sector will be financially strengthened.

The Chief Minister at the last meeting pointed out that the previous TD government in PA went on a borrowing spree beyond prescribed limits from 2016-17 to 2018-19. However, a reduction is imposed by the YSRC government on current borrowings.

The debt ceiling has been reduced by 17,923 crore over the past three years. Now, the CM is likely to reiterate the request to the Center to take a positive decision vis-à-vis the loan cuts.

Insufficient beneficiary coverage under the National Food Security (NFSA) Act, approval to establish 12 new medical schools in the state to meet the needs of 26 districts, renewal of site license approvals for Bhogapuram International Airport, as well as for iron mining for the establishment of an integrated steel mill in YSR district for iron ore supply, in addition to other outstanding issues, will be discussed by the CM in Delhi, an official said.

Meanwhile, political analysts note that politics in the two Telugu states is set to change ahead of the 2024 elections in AP and Telangana. The Telugu Desam is trying to revive its alliance with the BJP in AP by offering cooperation to the Saffron Party in Telangana, where the BJP aims to oust the KCR government from power.

CM Jagan is likely to seek clarification on the BJP’s position from the PA during his meeting with the PM and later prepare a political action plan based on the results.

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