Andhra to raise special status, issues with Telangana at Southern Zonal Council meet

Union Minister Amit Shah will chair the conference to be attended by Chief Ministers of the five southern states and Puducherry among other officials.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy
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Andhra Pradesh will raise a wide range of issues, including the demand for special category status to the state, at the Southern Zonal Council (SZC) conference, scheduled to be held in the temple town of Tirupati on November 14. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the SZC conference in which Chief Ministers of Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry will take part. Lieutenant Governors of Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Administrator of Lakshadweep will also attend the day-long conference.

Ahead of the conference, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a preparatory meeting with ministers and top officials on Wednesday, November 3, on the issues to be raised by the state at the conference. All issues listed in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, that remained unresolved so far will be top on the state's agenda at the SZC event, a release from the Chief Minister's Office said. Andhra Pradesh will also seek release of pending payments related to the Telugu Ganga project, which supplies drinking water to Chennai city, from Tamil Nadu.

Contentious issues with neighbouring state Telangana like payment of Rs 6,300 crore electricity charges, division of assets between the two states post-bifurcation, freezing of fixed deposit accounts and civil supplies dues will also be raised. Andhra Pradesh will express its unhappiness over the "irrational" PDS rice allocation policy of the Union government. The state will seek the Union government’s action to bring the Jurala irrigation project under the Krishna River Management Board's jurisdiction.

The release said the Union government will also be asked to clear the pending revenue deficit grant and the Polavaram project cost. The Union government’s proposals related to interlinking of rivers will also be discussed. Ministers Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, Buggana Rajendranath, Mekathoti Sucharita, Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma and other top bureaucrats attended the preparatory meeting.

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