Council figures prominently in Jagan-Shah late-night meeting

By Jinka Nagaraju  Published on  15 Feb 2020 3:28 AM GMT
Council figures prominently in Jagan-Shah late-night meeting

Hyderabad: Chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy urged union home minister Amit Shah to initiate the process of abolition of the upper house in the state legislature as early as possible.

Jagan called on the home minister late last night. And the meeting assumed importance as it took place two days after a meeting he had with Prime Modi on the same issue.

According to sources, the abolition of Legislative Council and the decentralization the capital which envisages the creation of three capitals figured prominently in the 45-minute long meeting with Shah.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly had already forwarded the resolution passed by the Assembly for the scrapping of the Council to the centre and is pending with the home ministry.

The resolution has to be processed by the home ministry before tabling it as a bill in the parliament.

Jagan is said to have requested the union home minister to explore the possibility of abolishing the Council before the state Assembly meets for budget session next month.

The CM narrated in detail how the Telugu Desam Party used its majority in the Council to stall the important bills related to the decentralisation of the capital and repeal of the Capital Region Development Authority.

He also told the home minister how the Chairman of Council stalled the passage of the bills by referring them to a select committee without following guidelines.

The chief minister is also said to have conveyed the sentiments of the Assembly to the home minister that the council lost its relevance and it had become a forum to scuttle the government’s proposals.

It is not known what the response of Amith Shah was, YSRC circles are hopeful that a bill would be introduced in the parliament when the House meets after the recess.

According to sources Jagan doesn’t want to see the Council meeting for the budget session which is scheduled in the mid-March as the Assembly approved the proposal to scrap it.

Against the backdrop of the controversy that erupted following the bills’ reference to the select committee, Jagan is said to have urged Shah to complete the process in the Parliament’s budget session itself.

Jagan presented a long list of pending demands and projects to the home minister which included liberal central funding for the proposed Kadapa Steel Plant, the release of grants promised under the bifurcation Act, early completion of the projects such as Visakhapatnam-Chennai corridor, Ramayampet Port and Kakinada Petroleum Complex.

As for the pending projects, Jagan reminded the home minister of a proposal to set up a forensic lab in the state with an estimated cost of Rs 253 crore.

The centre had promised Rs 152 crore as its share for the project. Recalling the center’s promise Jagan urged Shah to release the funds for the project so that the lab could be set up soon.

Similarly, Jagan asked for central assistance to create the police infrastructure in the state for the effective functioning of the forces. He brought the problems the department facing following the shifting of the capital to Amaravati where nothing is available, to the notice of Shah.

He apprised the home minister of the steps the state took to curb the atrocities on women and the state’s initiative in setting up the country’s first Disha police station.

Stating that the state had set up10 Disha police stations under the Disha Act, the CM urged the home minister to accord clearance for the Disha Act so that further expansion of Disha stations and fast-track courts could be taken up.

Finally, reiterating the state’s resolve to complete the Polavaram national project by 2021, the CM sought the release of funds to take up rehabilitation works for the project evacuees.

He also sought the administrative clearance for the cost of the project as estimated by the union water resources ministry. The water resources ministry pegged the project cost at Rs 55,549 crore which is yet to get center’s approval.

Jagan is expected to meet few more union ministers on Saturday.

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