Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-elect Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Sunday that his party, YSRCP, could have pressurised the BJP-led NDA government to grant Special Category Status to his state had the latter won just 250 seats.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jagan, as he is popularly called, said that YSRCP would have supported the BJP in exchange for the status.
“The situation would have been different had they (BJP) won just 250 seats (in Lok Sabha elections). We would have then supported BJP only after they signed the Special Category Status document,” he said, referring to the demand that led to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) break away from the NDA last year.
“If the BJP would’ve been limited to 250 seats, we wouldn’t have had to depend so much on the central government. But now, they don’t need us. We did what we could do and told him (PM) of our situation,” Jagan said.
The 46-year-old Jagan said that he will keep meeting the PM to remind him of the Special Category Status, expressing hope that “things will change”.
“Today was the first meeting with the PM. God willing I’ll probably meet him maybe 30, 40, 50 times over these 5 years. I’ll make it a point to remind him every time of Special Category Status…As long as we keep reminding, things will change,” he said.
The BJP won 303 seats in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections in the country. The NDA bagged 353 seats of the 542 for which elections were held.
The YSRCP chief met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah earlier today. His meeting with the PM-designate lasted close to an hour and fuelled speculations of a post-poll alliance between the BJP and YSRCP.
Following the meeting, PM Modi tweeted, “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
Commenting on former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan said that he has nothing against his predecessor.
“One thing I can tell you I have nothing against Chandrababu Naidu. My duty is that of a custodian. Today I’m going to promise you our government will be revolutionary. Within 6 months to 1 year, I’ll make sure this govt stands as exemplary to the country,” he stated.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), ended the TDP reign by winning 151 of the 175 seats in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. The YSRCP also won 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
On Saturday, Jagan met Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan along with his party leaders and formally staked claim to form the government.
On the same day he also met Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. The two leaders reportedly decided to work together for mutual benefit of both Telugu states. Jagan was accorded warm at Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of Telangana Chief Minister.
The YSRCP chief will take oath as the new Chief Minister at a ceremony to be held in Vijayawada at 12.23 pm, according to a press communiqué from the Raj Bhavan.