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While TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has taken a firm stand that he wants to play a key role in the Modi 3.0 govt, JD(U) wanted shortcomings in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme to the discussed in detail…reports Asian Lite News

Dispelling rumours that he was considering feelers from the INDI Alliance, Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu attended the NDA meeting in Delhi. Pictures of the meet showed the Andhra leader being seated right next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The TDP is the second-largest party in the NDA with 16 MPs.

Top party sources said Naidu has taken a firm stand that he wants to play a key role in the Modi 3.0 government. He is also learnt to have given the BJP brass a list of demands. These include the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post and at least five portfolios for the regional party.

The TDP is keen on the Speaker’s position because it comes with immense power and access, and the Chair will play a crucial role in case of a hung Parliament. Late GMC Balayogi from the party had served as Speaker in the A B Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2002.

A TDP MP said the party wants rural development, housing and urban affairs, ports & shipping, road transport & highways, and Jal Shakti ministries. It is also keen to have a junior minister in the finance ministry as the state is in dire need of funds.

As Naidu wants to resume development of Amaravati as Andhra capital, the urban affairs portfolio will come in handy. Similarly, he needs the rural development ministry to fulfil his promise of developing rural infrastructure in the state. Three industrial corridors pass through the state; hence, the demand for road transport and highways ministry.

The state has four ports under development, which can be completed fast with the help of the ports & shipping ministry. Naidu hopes to complete the Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project with the help of the Jal Shakti ministry. However, he may not insist on this portfolio owing to conflict of interest: Andhra Pradesh has river water disputes with Telangana, Karnataka, and Odisha.

Agniveer scheme should be discussed, says JD(U)

JD(U) senior leader KC Tyagi on Thursday said that his party had offered unconditional support to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA but wanted the shortcomings in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme to the discussed in detail.

“A section of voters has been upset over the Agniveer scheme. Our party wants those shortcomings which have been questioned by the public to be discussed in detail and removed,” he said

The Agnipath Scheme in the Indian Armed Forces is a scheme where selected candidates will be enrolled as Agniveers for a four-year period. Based on organisational requirements and policies promulgated by the Armed Forces, Agniveers after completing their engagement period will be offered an opportunity to apply for enrolment in the permanent cadre. Of these upto 25% of Agniveers will be selected to be enrolled in the Armed Forces as a regular cadre.

Meanwhile, JDU spokesperson KC Tyagi also spoke on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which has been one of the poll promises of the BJP. He signalled that the JDU is not against the UCC but it should be discussed with the stakeholders.

“We are not against the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), but we reckon that it should be discussed with all the stakeholders including the states, Chief Ministers and political parties”, he said.

The JDU leader also advocated for a caste census saying that PM Narendra Modi was not opposed to it.

Tyagi stated, “A caste census is being demanded by all. Bihar has paved the way for it. Even the Prime Minister did not oppose the caste census, so we will pursue it.”

KC Tyagi also spoke on special status for Bihar, which has been a demand of the party and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“There is no pre-condition. There is unconditional support. But Bihar should be given a special status. That is something which we have in our heart… ” said KC Tyagi.

As per the results announced by the Election Commission of India on Tuesday, the BJP won 240 seats and along with its allies, it stands at 293 seats. Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU, having won 16 and 12 seats respectively in their respective states, have extended support to the NDA.

The INDIA bloc has 234 MPs in the new parliament with the Congress having won 99 seats. (ANI)

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