Political Pickle

Why Jagan met Amit Shah

“It was to request the second most powerful man to persuade the most powerful man in helping Andhra Pradesh,” replied YS Jaganmohan Reddy to the question about why he met BJP president Amit Shah after meeting Prime minister Narendra Modi. Jagan’s YSR Congress is not a member of the NDA. 

Jagan admitted that it would have been better for Andhra Pradesh had the party coming to power had secured only 250 seats. 

“If they had got 250 seats, I would have made them sign on the Special Category Status (SCS) before swearing-in but unfortunately they got overwhelming majority. They don’t even need our support,” said Jagan.

On the election campaign trail, the YSRCP chief had promised support to any party – the BJP or the Congress – that granted SCS to Andhra.

So on Sunday, Jagan could only request Modi to be magnanimous. The PM subsequently tweeted in Telugu, “Had an excellent meeting with Andhra Pradesh’s CM designate YS Jaganmohan Reddy. We had a fruitful interaction on several issues pertaining to AP’s development. Assured him all possible support from the Centre during his term.”

A section of Telugu media speculated that Shah had offered two cabinet berths to the YSRCP in Modi’s ministry. Vijai Sai Reddy, YSRCP’s Rajya Sabha MP denied any such offer was made. 

“The question does not arise when our main demand remains SCS,” said Reddy. 

It is believed that BJP’s Andhra unit president Kanna Laxminarayana who lost the Lok Sabha election from Narasaraopet could be inducted into the ministry if the PM is keen to give the state representation in the Union government. But he will have to be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha from another state as the BJP has no legislators in Andhra Pradesh. 

Technically however, Andhra will be represented in the Council of ministers if Suresh Prabhu is inducted as he was elected from the state when TDP and BJP enjoyed good relations. 

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