The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana met on Sunday in the presence of Governor E S L Narasimhan to iron out differences on various issues between the two states.
Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhara Rao reached Raj Bhavan at noon for their first formal meeting to discuss contentious issues arising out of the bifurcation.
KCR expressed happiness after the meeting, adding that if leaders of both states cooperate, it would lead to development and prosperity of Telugu people. “We discussed two main issues: distribution of employees and allotment of premises for AP Assembly in Hyderabad. I suggested that instead of Kamalnathan Committee carrying out the allotment of employees, why not chief secretaries of both states sit together and sort it out. It is a matter of a few hundred employees. Similarly, I also suggested we vacate a few rooms to make more space for AP Assembly offices and it was accepted,” he said.
KCR added that to avoid embarrassing situations like the one faced by two bureaucrats who were unfortunately denied entry into institutions that now belong to Telangana, the CMs agreed that Andhra could have a joint MD in Telangana institutions and vice-versa.
However, issues such as fee reimbursement to economically backward students of Andhra studying in Hyderabad, merger of seven mandals of Khammam district under the Polavaram Project with Andhra and the Governor’s special powers, over which the two CMs have often traded vitriolic attacks, remain to be discussed.
KCR also said the Intensive Household Survey was deliberately made into a controversy, and clarified that citizens have nothing to fear. “Some people are spreading fear without knowing facts. This survey is meant to find out real beneficiaries of government schemes,” he said.
KCR also said: “People called me ‘Hitler’ for hosting I-Day function at Golconda Fort saying that it was the seat of rulers who were dictators. They have labeled me a dictator for ordering the survey. I don’t mind being called a dictator or Hitler. In fact, I will be harsher than Hitler if need be to stop illegal activities.’’
Naidu, on his part, said although geographically there are two states, Telugus are one and both states need to work together. “A few problems have arisen due to bifurcation and I have always said that no state should be given an unfair deal. We have to sort out things with cooperation and mutual understanding,’’ he said.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.