Handing over a letter containing key concerns of the state, Jagan invited Modi for the launch of the ‘Pedalandiriki Illu’ (housing for the poor) scheme on March 25.

Andhra CM Jagan meets PM Modi seeks support for three capitals and Disha Act
news Politics Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 09:17

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his New Delhi residence on Wednesday evening. In a meeting that went on for nearly two hours, the two of them reportedly discussed several issues related to Andhra Pradesh.

Handing over a letter containing key concerns of the state, Jagan invited Modi for the launch of the ‘Pedalandiriki Illu’ (housing for the poor) scheme on Ugadi (March 25), where 25 lakh beneficiaries are expected to get house pattas. The scheme is one of the ‘Navaratnalu’, or the nine major campaign promises made by Jagan. Jagan is said to have requested Modi to allow the state government to take over 800 acres of salt lands in the East Godavari district, for developing house sites for the scheme.

As expected, the issue of capital decentralisation, abolition of Legislative Council, as well as Special Category Status and release of grants pending from the Centre were all part of the request letter, and the agenda of the meeting.

Jagan has requested the PM for his support in moving the Andhra Pradesh High Court to Kurnool, in the process of turning the city into the ‘judicial capital’ - one of the three proposed capitals for the state. Jagan also reportedly discussed the issue of decentralising the capitals, and the status of the two Bills - the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill and Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill - passed in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly last month. He also reportedly requested the release of pending grants from the Centre towards construction of the capital, noting that only Rs 1,000 crore of the allocated Rs 2,500 crore funds have been released so far.

The three-capital proposal has kicked up a huge political storm in Andhra Pradesh, and has also triggered an agitation by farmers of the current capital region Amaravati, who have been staunchly opposing the relocation of the capital.

With the Legislative Council, where the opposition TDP is in a majority, blocking the relevant Bill for having three capitals, the YSRCP government passed a resolution in the Legislative Assembly seeking abolition of the Upper House of the state Legislature.

Jagan is also reported to have requested Modi’s support in abolishing the Council, complaining that it was acting as a hindrance to good governance by blocking Bills.

He has also asked the PM to support the approval of the 'Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019’, or the Disha Act, which mandates completion of investigation into cases of sexual offences within 7 working days from the time of record, and that the trial must be concluded within 14 working days from the date of filing the chargesheet. The Bill, which amends the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to enable speedy investigation and trial, and award of death penalty in cases with adequate, conclusive evidence, has been passed by the Assembly, but is in the Concurrent List and is waiting for approval from the Home Ministry and the President. 

The CM also requested Special Category Status to the state yet again, noting that the 15th Finance Commission has claimed that the decision only falls within the purview of the central government. 

Jagan also noted that the Centre is yet to release Rs 18,969.26 crore towards covering the revenue deficit for the state, urging the PM to speed up the process. He also reportedly pointed out that the grants released for the current financial year, of Rs 10,610 crore, have been lower than any year during the previous TDP term. He requested Modi to release the pending grants, and take necessary measures to speed up the construction of the Kadapa steel plant, Ramayapatnam port, and the river-linking project of Krishna and Godavari. He also reportedly requested grants for development of backward regions and the Polavaram project. 

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.