YSRCP president and Andhra Pradesh’s CM-in-waiting, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday. Congratulating Modi on his electoral victory, Jagan felicitated Modi with a shawl and invited him to his swearing-in ceremony as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Jagan’s swearing-in will take place on May 30 in Vijayawada at Indira Gandhi stadium.
Addressing the media at AP Bhavan after the meeting, Jagan said, “Today the circumstances in the state and the financial condition of Andhra Pradesh are such that we badly need support from the Centre. I discussed and explained all the problems and issues in the state to the Prime Minister. We talked about Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh. I told him that the state is surviving on overdraft. Andhra had a debt burden of Rs 97,000 crore at the time of bifurcation. Within five years of Chandrababu Naidu's rule, it went up to Rs 2,58,000 crore. I have requested him for aid and support of all kinds.”
Speaking about Modi's response, Jagan said, "I feel he responded positively. No one can conclude things in one meeting, but it's a positive step. I could see that he had it in his heart to help Andhra Pradesh."
Tweeting about the meeting, Prime Minister Modi said, “Had an excellent meeting with Andhra Pradesh’s CM designate @ysjagan. We had a fruitful interaction on several issues pertaining to AP’s development. Assured him all possible support from the Centre during his term.”
Had an excellent meeting with Andhra Pradesh’s CM designate @ysjagan. We had a fruitful interaction on several issues pertaining to AP’s development. Assured him all possible support from the Centre during his term. pic.twitter.com/u7bwPGI4t6— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 26, 2019
When asked about the Special Category Status demands, Jagan said that he had hoped and prayed that the NDA would not cross the 250 mark in the elections, but since they crossed 340 seats and attained a massive majority, his bargaining power has been reduced. "The numbers have put the Centre at an advantage and deprived us of the advantage that a hung Parliament would've given us. But I explained how important Special Category is for us, how it's a lifeline. He doesn't need us, but I told him this is the time to be magnanimous, when he is in a position of strength."
Jagan added that he would keep insisting on SCS for the state until it is achieved. "This is the first time that the state demanding bifurcation took away the capital. Our graduates have no place to go for a job, they can't compete with Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Only the incentives that come with SCS would motivate someone to set up hospitals, hotels, industries, IT etc. This is only the first time I am meeting the Prime Minister. In the coming five years, each and every time I meet him, I will bring up the SCS until it is approved. This is our right. If we stop trying, we will never get it."
The meeting between Jagan and Modi went on for over an hour. Jagan was accompanied by Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam, and his close aide and party general secretary V Vijaya Sai Reddy, among other YSRCP leaders. After the meeting concluded, Jagan went on to meet BJP President Amit Shah at his residence, before heading to AP Bhavan.
"Amit Shah is the second most powerful man in the country. In relation to the state's problems, we met the most powerful person (Modi). Then I met Amit Shah to ask the second most powerful man to persuade the most powerful man to help us tide over this situation," Jagan said to the media.
After being elected as Legislative Party leader on Saturday, Jagan had met Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at his residence, where he was felicitated by KCR for his outstanding victory. “The meeting with KCR was an honorary visit. For the first time, there are friendly relations between the two states. KCR has taken a friendly step forward by offering support for the SCS even before the elections. We speak the same language, it's important that we work together and support each other. Today our strength is 22 (seats), KCR's strength is 9, we don't know if Naidu will support, but 31 MPs is a good number to be together,” Jagan said.
Talking about the status of the state capital Amaravati, Jagan said that there have been many scams during Naidu's terms that need to be looked into. "Our government will be revolutionary, will stand as an example. Within six months to one year, I will make sure that this government will stand as an example to the country. There will be no corruption anywhere, we will clean up the system, and show how the system has been cleaned. We will bring transparency," Jagan said.
When asked about the prohibition of alcohol included in his Navarathnalu list of welfare schemes, Jagan said that it would be implemented in a phased manner. “We will reduce revenues gradually, bring awareness and implement de-addiction programs. By the time the next elections come in, we will limit liquor to 5-star hotels and only then ask for votes. The manifesto will be followed like a Quran, Bible, Bhagavad Gita. We will live up to the trust of the people," said Jagan.
Jagan also said that he will make sure that the Polavaram project is completed in a time bound manner.
When asked about the possibility of YSRCP joining the NDA, Jagan responded, "Why do they need any party to join them when they themselves have 340 plus. Unfortunately, god has given them an overwhelming mandate like he gave me."
Jagan won the Assembly elections by winning 151 of the total 175 seats. The YSRCP also won 22 out of the total 25 MP seats, emerging as the fourth largest party in the parliament after BJP, Congress and DMK.
People of Andhra residing in Delhi were seen gathered outside AP Bhavan, cheering Jagan and his victory.