YSR Congress leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today said that he had asked a special favour of God ahead of counting of votes for the 2019 general election. He said he asked God to "please don't give them (the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) beyond 250 seats".
The Andhra lawmaker had hoped the BJP would fall short of the 272-seat mark required to gain a majority in parliament, giving him an opportunity to prop up the NDA - or the UPA - and making the special category status for Andhra Pradesh inevitable.
"I prayed to God. Please God, don't give them beyond 250. But unfortunately God delivered them with an overwhelming mandate," the lawmaker said, adding, "Just as he has given me an overwhelming mandate".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP gained an absolute majority in the national election by winning 303 seats on its own.
The YSR Congress has been elected to power in the Andhra Assembly with a massive mandate of 151 from 175 seats, virtually decimating Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party. In the Lok Sabha polls, the party swept to victory in 22 of 25 parliamentary constituencies, making it the fourth-largest in parliament, behind the BJP, the Congress and the DMK.
"If the BJP had been limited to 250 seats, we wouldn't have had to depend so much on the central government. But now, they don't need us. We did what we could do and told him (PM) of our situation," Mr Reddy told reporters after the meeting.
Earlier today, Mr Reddy met PM Modi at his residence in New Delhi and invited him to his oath ceremony, to be held in Vijayawada on May 30. He also apprised the Prime Minister of the current situation in Andhra Pradesh and discussed issues regarding Special Category status for the state.
Special status will mean a large infusion of central funds to help with the state government's plans to develop its new capital Amravati. This has been a long-standing demand of Andhra Pradesh government since Telangana was carved out of it in 2014.
"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 today.
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