Vijayawada, Dec 12: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the forum of zonal council is one of the most significant means to achieve the goal of cooperative federalism which is crucial for the country's progress.
Singh, who inaugurated the 26th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council here, said the NDA government has attached utmost importance to strengthening the institutions of Zonal Council and Inter-State Council.
"These institutions have immense potential to resolve a slew of nagging problems by active cooperation between Centre and States and among the States through a healthy debate," an official release quoted Singh as saying in the closed-door meeting.
The minister told the participants that the government has been able to hold the meetings of all the Zonal Councils this year. All meetings of Standing Committees of Zonal Councils had also been convened before the meetings of Zonal Councils.
He said the government has also reconstituted the Inter-State Council recently which had been pending for a long time and that its meeting would also be convened soon.
Singh said the country is facing serious challenges from left-wing extremism which needs to be countered effectively and collectively with the States. "Among other challenges, coastal security in southern states needs to be strengthened," he said.
Earlier, Singh expressed his deep condolences to the families of victims who lost their lives in the devastating floods in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry recently. He assured that the central government would continue to do every thing possible to relieve the sufferings of people affected by the floods and in providing relief and rehabilitation operations.
The meeting was attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Home Minister Nayini Narasimha Reddy, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara and Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph and senior officials from the southern States.