Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday in the national capital and requested him to ‘soften PM Modi’s heart’ on granting special category status to his state. Jagan said he will raise the issue on Saturday, during fifth NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I took an appointment with Home Minister today evening to try and prevail on him, to also soften PM’s heart on special category status, what we’ll definitely be asking for in tomorrow’s NITI Aayog meeting”, he was quoted as saying by ANI.
He further urged the NDA Government at the Centre to fulfil all commitments that were made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. As far as the ruling BJP is concerned, it has already told the Andhra government that the issue of Special Status was a closed chapter.
“The BJP has made it clear to the YSRCP government and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy that Special Category Status is a closed chapter. There won’t be any discussions on that. The special package offered earlier in lieu of SCS will continue. Anyone who thinks that pressure can be put on the Centre to secure special status is mistaken,” The Indian Express quoted BJP’s state unit chief Kanna Lakshminarayana, as saying.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had refused to attend Niti Aayog meeting. In a letter to PM Modi she wrote,“Niti Ayog has no financial powers or power to support state plans, it is fruitless for me to attend the meeting”.
“The experience of the last four-and- half years we had with the Niti Aayog brings me back to my earlier suggestion…that we focus on the Inter State Council constituted under Article 263 of the Constitution, with appropriate modifications, to enable the ISC to discharge its augmented range of functions,” her letter said further.