Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the 29th Southern Zonal Council meeting, which will be held in the temple town of Tirupati on March 4. According to sources, Chief Minister, Lieutenant Governor of 8 States/ UTs in the Southern Zone along with their respective Chief Secretaries, Advisers and other senior officers will also participate in the meeting. Communication for the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday informed that in total about 90 to 100 dignitaries and officers are expected to participate in this meeting.
The Southern Zonal Council comprises of members from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry and Union Territories Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep as Special Invitees. As the host state, the AP government is requested to make requisite logistical arrangements for the meeting including reception, security, transport, boarding and lodging among others.
Ahead of assembly elections in Kerala, BJP president JP Nadda while addressing a public meeting in Thrissur on Thursday, highlighted the Centre's contribution towards ensuring the welfare of the people of Kerala. For instance, he mentioned that Rs.12,000 crores will be spent on six mega projects whose foundation stones have been laid. Maintaining that special focus has been given to Kerala under PM Modi's leadership, Nadda cited Rs.16,000 crore spent for BPCL's Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex in Kochi, Rs.3,000 crore spent on a 450 km long natural gas pipeline from Kochi to Mangaluru and the Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor.
JP Nadda remarked, "While PM Modi and the NDA government is doing so much for Kerala, the leaders and the political parties in Kerala have brought a bad name to Kerala. The LDF led by Pinarayi Vijayan and the UDF may it be Chandy or Chennithala- all have brought a bad name to Kerala. It is full of corruption. The whole state machinery is deep into corruption. Rampant corruption is going on. One Chief Minister has got love and affection for gold. The other Chief Minister delivered and generated energy from solar."
JP Nadda had earlier informed that the AIADMK and the BJP would contest the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu together. “Both parties would face the polls together. Earlier in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, despite the speculation that AIADMK will join with BJP, the former contested alone and had registered a thumping victory by bagging 37 out of 39 seats. Later in the 2019 general elections, after the demise of former TN CM and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, AIADMK had joined forces with the NDA alliance. However, it was defeated by the DMK-Congress alliance and was able to get just one seat in Theni. Following this AIADMK contest the by-polls alone which were held later that year. The assembly elections of Tamil Nadu are due in April 2021.