After friendly meeting, CMs Naidu & Revanth decide to form committees to resolve AP-Telangana issues

After friendly meeting, CMs Naidu & Revanth decide to form committees to resolve AP-Telangana issues

Hyderabad: Flower decorations, an exchange of gifts and bouquets, hugs and smiles, followed by dinner — the first meeting between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana CM Revanth Reddy, held Saturday evening in Hyderabad to resolve 10-year-old pending issues between the two states, took place in a genial atmosphere.

Revanth presented his former boss Naidu with a copy of “Naa Godava” (My issue/problem), a collection of poems by celebrated Telangana writer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Kaloji Narayana Rao. First published in 1953, the book reflects Rao’s sentiments and the socio-political situations, injustices, and sufferings of the region’s people under the Nizam and later.

Naidu, in turn, gifted Revanth, a former Telangana TDP working president and assembly floor leader, a replica of Lord Venkateshwara, the prevailing deity at Tirumala, revered by people of the two Telugu states.

The discussions between the two states’ delegations took place five years after such a meeting of their predecessors — Andhra Pradesh’s Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana’s K. Chandrashekar Rao — at the same venue, Pragathi Bhavan, now known as Mahatma Jyothi Rao Phule Praja Bhavan. The aim for both meetings was the same.

The June 2019 meeting, held amid fanfare, was originally planned for two days but concluded after the first day with no positive outcome. However, after Naidu and Revanth’s two-hour meeting, it was decided that a three-phased approach would be adopted to resolve the differences between the two states, mainly stemming from the 2014 bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

While Naidu was accompanied by his three ministers — Anagani Satya Prasad, B.C. Janardhan Reddy of the TDP and Kandula Durgesh from the Jana Sena Party — and chief secretary and other officials, Revanth had his deputy Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, ministers D. Sridhar Babu, Ponnam Prabhakar, and other officials by his side.

Briefing the reporters after the two CMs left the venue, Bhatti said the two administrations had decided to constitute a joint committee of officials, headed by the two chief secretaries with three members from each side, along with a joint committee of ministers, for progression in problem solving.

“Not one or two, many issues came up for discussion and some were deliberated on at length. Of course, no one expected a resolution to all issues in this one interaction. But to arrive at a solution, as the way forward, it was decided to constitute two committees — one of officials and other of ministers,” Bhatti said in a joint press conference, flanked by Andhra and Telangana ministers.

The CS led groups are expected to meet in two weeks “to resolve matters as much as they can,” and later, “depending on the situation the ministers committee will convene to take matters ahead for solutions.”

“The third stage will be a chief ministers’ meeting again (to dwell on still disputed issues),” said the Telangana deputy CM, adding that a road map will emerge soon.

AP minister Anagani said the two CMs had decided to take a “friendly, progressive, cooperative” approach to solve the issues between the states.

Also read: Naidu’s whitepaper says image of Amaravati, AP suffered under Jagan — ‘Rs 2 lakh cr gain to GSDP lost’

A new approach?

The meeting was convened at Naidu’s behest after he had written to Revanth last week to discuss the challenging apportioning of public sector assets, belonging to various institutions and corporations, valued at around Rs 1.4 lakh crore — some of these being prime properties in Hyderabad. These bodies are charted in Schedules IX and X of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. River water sharing and pending power sector dues between two states is another major issue.

Apart from these known matters, landlocked Telangana is now also reportedly seeking a share of the ports in AP, like Krishnapatnam and Machilipatnam, and a part of AP’s vast 975 km coastline. Besides, the Revanth government also wants to partake in the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams management.

Telangana also wants re-merger of five Panchayati villages near temple town Bhadrachalam, on the Andhra-Telangana border, which were given as part of seven mandals to AP in 2014 to facilitate Polavaram project execution. AP, sources said, responded saying the matter falls under the Centre’s purview.

While Naidu wanted to keep some government buildings in Hyderabad, Revanth was disagreeable to the proposition and, instead, was willing to offer some land where “AP could construct buildings like at the AP bhavan in New Delhi.”

This year, 2 June signified the 10th anniversary of the bifurcation that saw Telangana carved out from Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad ceased to be the joint capital from this date.

Though now in Opposition camps, Naidu, TDP supremo and a key NDA ally, and Revanth, TPCC chief and INDIA bloc member, were engaged in a lively conversation during the dinner hosted by the latter.

Naidu reportedly enquired about Telangana’s finances and implementation of Congress’s poll promises — six welfare guarantees, including the free RTC travel for women.

Naidu’s 2024 election manifesto, among many other assurances, also promised free travel for women in AP state-run buses.

In another development, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have decided to work together to check the menace of drugs, cyber-crimes. To curb inter-state transportation of drugs and marijuana, a joint coordination committee of Additional DGP level officers will be formed.

After the June 2019 meeting, Jagan and KCR had met once again at Pragathi Bhavan in January 2020, but the issues between two states remained unresolved as the two administrations began sparring over irrigation projects on River Krishna.

Officials from both sides now “wish and hope” that there will be a different approach and outcome this time.

(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri)

Also read: Demand for cabinet posts behind Puducherry BJP revolt. ‘Took advantage of poll loss to rake it up.’


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