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Naidu’s list: Budget for Andhra Pradesh, ministrylinked demands

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New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers on Thursday to push for specific budget and ministryspecific demands for the debtridden state.

A key ally of the BJPled NDA government, Naidu is eyeing enhanced assistance for Andhra Pradesh as it is evident that a ‘special category’ status is unlikely to be granted. According to sources, Naidu met the PM for about 20 minutes.

Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is a vital partner in the NDA government, sought enhanced assistance for Andhra Pradesh if the special category status cannot be granted to the state.According to sources, Naidu discussed Andhra Pradesh’s high debt in his meeting with Modi while pointing out that the state’s debt had increased to over ₹13 lakh crore under the previous YSRCP government without creation of any vital infrastructure.

Naidu also sought early release of Centre’s arrears in the Polavaram irrigation project a longstanding demand of the state since the scope of project has changed leading to cost escalation. Naidu specifically sought handholding of state finances in short term, support in commissioning of the marquee Polavaram project, comprehensive financial support for completion of the government complex and trunk infrastructure of the capital city of Amaravati, incentives for industrial development, consideration for an additional allocation under the scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment, targeting essential sectors such as roads, bridges, irrigation and drinking water projects, support to the backward regions of Andhra Pradesh on lines of Bundelkhand package and support to the state for development of Dugarajapatnam port.

Naidu posted on X: “Today, I had a constructive meeting with the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri @narendramodi Ji, in Delhi to address important matters concerning the welfare and development of Andhra Pradesh. I am confident that under his leadership, our The state will reemerge as a powerhouse among states.”Andhra Pradesh runs a high debt of about 39% as a proportion of Gross State Domestic Product.The TDP chief, who is on a twoday visit to New Delhi, also held talks with Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal on statespecific issues. According to sources, Naidu took up specific highway projects with Gadkari. He praised the “spirit of cooperative federalism” after talks with Goyal.

“I’m confident that together we shall take Andhra Pradesh further on the road to progress and prosperity,” Naidu tweeted after meeting Gadkari. After his meeting with Goyal, the CM said, “This wonderful spirit of cooperative federalism will help our state, Andhra Pradesh, unlock its full potential…”

Naidu also met Union agriculture minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He is scheduled to meet several other Union ministers.