Close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand special status and a financial package worth around Rs 2 lakh crore for his state, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is all set to do the same.
KCR has sought an appointment with the PM between 31 August and 8 September, before his week-long tour to China. So far, there has been no response from the PMO to KCR’s request for a meeting.
According to sources in the Telangana CMO, KCR plans to submit a memorandum to PM Modi seeking special status for Telangana and a financial package of around Rs 1.5 lakh crore. A team of officials is drafting the memorandum.
KCR is unhappy that since the formation of Telangana in June 2014, the Centre hasn’t given any special grants to the state, despite his writing nearly 50 letters to various Central ministers. The requested package will include around Rs 80,000 cr for five irrigation projects on the Godavari and Krishna rivers, Rs 20,000 cr for a drinking water grid that reaches all villages in the state, Rs 15,000 cr for the Hyderabad city drinking water scheme, Rs 30,000 crore for the Hyderabad-Warangal industrial corridor and Rs 5,000 cr for a thermal power plant in Nalgonda district, sources said.
These same requirements were presented to a World Bank team that visited Hyderabad on Thursday, but the bank officials indicated they are unlikely to fully fund the projects. KCR is planning to request the PM to visit Hyderabad in October to launch projects such as the 150 km Hyderabad-Warangal industrial corridor.
Sources close to the CM told The Sunday Guardian that KCR is hopeful of striking a political deal with the BJP if Modi visited the state. KCR had already offered to support the government over passage of many crucial bills in Parliament including the land and GST bills.
A senior TRS Lok Sabha member told this newspaper that “we are for friendly relations with the BJP, but there is no reciprocity from the other side”.
Though the TRS leadership is not sure of securing any hefty packages from the Centre at this juncture, KCR’s demand itself is intended to serve two purposes. First, it is aimed at scuttling the chances of Naidu getting special treatment from the Centre, and second it will also send a positive message to the public.
Sources said that KCR was not happy with the inclusion of only two Telangana cities — Hyderabad and Warangal — in the list of 98 smart cities announced by the Centre on Thursday. “We have asked for at least two more cities — Karimnagar and Nizamabad — to be considered for the project, but the Centre has ignored us,” the MP said.