YSR calls on Sonia to discuss Andhra situation

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New Delhi, Dec 10 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi here to discuss political atmosphere and certain administrative issues.

Asked if the appointment of the new leader for the party presidentship figured in the discussions, the CM refused to give a direct answer and said, ''If you think appointment of PCC President forms part of the prevailing political situation in the state then you can presume that I discussed it with her.'' Dr Reddy, who also met Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, said he has requested the Ministry to release one lakh fresh LPG connections per month for the state's BPL families under 'Deepam scheme'.

The Minister assured he would release maximum number of connections depending on the availability of gas and other related issues.

''I requested the Minister to expeditiously clear the AP Gas grid pipeline project proposal pending before the Gas Regulatory Authority. They are insisting on tie up on gas availability.

''To address this issue, the state administration had talked to Reliance Petroleum, which is producing gas ahead of other companies.

We are prepared to give majority stake in the AP Gas Grid to the Reliance. Other players in the fray in the state included Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and hence, there should not be any problem with the availability of gas.'' Dr Reddy said.

Dr Reddy said he has also requested the Minister to ask the ONGC to take a decision on the refinery at Kakinada. ''The ministry had been prevaricating on the issue and was claiming that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) was not yet ready. I requested him to take a final decision so that we could negotiate with other players in the sector.'' Replying to queries on the MSP for paddy, Dr Reddy said his government is planning an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue. He said he had discussions with Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The Finance Minister was very clear there was strong case for raising the MSP for agricultural products to achieve the target of four per cent growth in the sector, while the growth in Industry and Services sectors hovered around 10 per cent.

Since, hiking the MSP would also have adverse affect on the prices in the open market and PDS, the FM will discuss the issue with the PM and the Congress President.

He said Opposition TDP was in power twice in AP and had a very influential role in running the Centre during the United Front and the NDA governments but the hike in MSP came only once, whereas during the last three years the MSP was raised by over Rs 180. The UPA Government has done a lot for improving the conditions of farmers but much needs to be done, he conceded.


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