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Chandrababu Naidu holds last cabinet meeting after EC clearance

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu held a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to review the drinking water crisis in the state and drought conditions after the Election Commission gave him the clearance on Monday.

This was the last cabinet meeting conducted by Naidu in his current tenure, as a new government will be formed after May 23 when the results of the state assembly elections will be declared.

If the TDP comes back to power for a second term, Naidu will be able to conduct the cabinet meetings again. Otherwise, the Tuesday’s meeting will be the last official meeting held by Naidu who also heads the Telegu Desam party (TDP).

Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam, who had been avoiding meeting the chief minister ever since his appointment by the Election Commission on April 6, attended the cabinet meeting and exchanged pleasantries with Naidu. All the officials of the departments concerned and Naidu’s cabinet colleagues took part in the two-hour long meeting.

Naidu had originally proposed to hold the cabinet meeting on May 10, but the Election Commission did not grant him permission. Later, he deferred it to Tuesday and sent another note to the EC along with the agenda points. Finally, on Monday evening, the EC gave its approval with a lot of conditions.

It said the cabinet meeting should be confined only to the points mentioned in the agenda such as steps being taken for mitigation of drinking water crisis, drought conditions in the state, employment guarantee programme implementation and the damage done to north coastal Andhra due to cyclone Fani. It also made it clear that there would be no media briefing after the meeting.

According to an official who preferred anonymity, the cabinet discussed the steps being taken to mitigate drinking water crisis in several parts of the state, particularly in Rayalaseema districts.

Officials informed participants at the meeting of the contingency measures being taken in those areas such as supply of drinking water through tankers. Several horticultural crops have wilted due to lack of irrigation facility in several districts, the officials explained.

The disaster management authorities told the chief minister that cyclone Fani caused crop and property loss worth Rs 58 crore in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts. “The actual loss is still being estimated,” they told Naidu.

The chief minister is learnt to have thanked all the officials for cooperating with the TDP government in the last five years and hoped that he would get the opportunity to work with them again. The TDP faces a tough challenge from the YSR Congress which maintains that it will come to power in Andhra Pradesh.

The assembly elections in the state were held on April 11.

First Published:
May 14, 2019 20:47 IST

Source: HindustanTimes