YSR Congress President and Andhra Pradesh chief minister-designate YS Jaganmohan Reddy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday to discuss the matter of according special category status to the state, PTI reported. Reddy, who was unanimously elected the leader of YSR Congress legislature party on Saturday, also spoke to the prime minister about the state’s financial situation and sought central funds.
“Had an excellent meeting with Andhra Pradesh’s CM designate YS Jagan Mohan Reddy,” Modi tweeted. “We had a fruitful interaction on several issues pertaining to AP’s development. Assured him all possible support from the Centre during his term.”
Reddy told reporters that the situation would have been different had the saffron party won just 250 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. “We would have then supported BJP only after they signed the special category status document,” ANI quoted him as saying. “If the BJP would have been limited to 250 seats, we would not have had to depend so much on the central government. But now, they do not need us. We did what we could do and told him [PM] of our situation.”
The special category status has been one of the primary demands of political parties in Andhra Pradesh since its bifurcation in 2014. The Telugu Desam Party, led by N Chandrababu Naidu, walked out of the National Democratic Alliance last year after the Modi government did not accord the status to the state. In July, the Telugu Desam Party moved a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, which the government won after a 12-hour debate.
According to unidentified leaders of the regional party, Reddy also invited Modi to his inauguration in Vijaywada on May 30. The YSR Congress leader then met Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah and sought his support for the state’s key demands, reported PTI.
The YSR Congress won 151 of the 175 seats in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections with a vote share of almost 50%. The Telugu Desam Party, which was trying to stitch together a coalition of Opposition parties at the Centre, was reduced to 23 seats. Reddy’s party swept the Lok Sabha elections in the state, winning 22 of 25 seats.
At Saturday’s legislature party meeting, Reddy told his party’s legislators that god had punished Chandrababu Naidu for his misdeeds. The mandate, he added, showed that those who resort to “unethical and unjust” means would be punished by god.