TIRUPATI (ANDHRA): Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised "all cooperation from the Centre for Andhra Pradesh's development" during a visit to the temple town of Tirupati, where he was seen to reach out to new Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. PM Modi was received at Tirupati by Jagan Reddy, who accompanied him to the temple.
The Prime Minister, who earlier also visited the famous Guruvayur temple in Kerala, wished the state success under the leadership of Jagan Reddy, and said he planned to "increase our efforts" to prove to the people of the state that the BJP's objective was to "serve the people." "Andhra Pradesh has infinite possibilities for growth. We will fully extend all cooperation from the Centre for the development of the state," the Prime Minister said at a public meeting organised by the BJP.
The Prime Minister's comment was linked by many to special status for Andhra, a long-standing demand that was promised by the Congress-led UPA government back in 2014, but has yet to be delivered by the current government. Special status will mean a large infusion of central funds to help with the state government's plans to develop its new capital Amravati. Soon after his victory, Jagan Reddy had called on PM Modi to raise the issue of special status for Andhra as well as invite him to his swearing-in ceremony on May 30. "Our demands for special status will always continue. I will personally take an appointment with PM Modi and meet him about this. We will continue to pursue the demands," the YSR Congress chief said ahead of the meeting.
Kerala is dear to me: Modi
Prime Minister Modi, while addressing his first public meeting after returning to power at the Centre, said that the reason to start with Kerala was to underline the need for unity, and that he and his government would serve all Indians equally, irrespective of who voted for him or not. “Kerala is as dear to me as Varanasi. An elected leader is common to all… it is my responsibility to take care of the 1.3 billion people of this country. Those who made us win or those who did not, both are our (people),” he said, addressing an ‘abhinandan sabha’ organised by BJP’s Kerala unit in Guruvayur.
Prior to the meeting, the PM spent around 20 minutes inside the Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple and participated in the ‘thulabharam’ ritual - in an offering to the deity, he was weighed against 91kg of lotus flowers on a wooden scale. The PM said he felt an emotional connect with Guruvayur. “It is similar to two other famous Lord Krishna temples in Udupi and Dwaraka. I have got a chance to come to Guruvayur once again. It is a source of inspiration,” the PM said.