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Amit Shah to chair 29th meeting of Southern Zonal Council at Tirupati on Sunday

Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the 29th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council at Tirupati on Sunday. The council comprises of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, and Union Territories of Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is the Vice Chairman and host. Other Chief Ministers from the States in the Zone along with 2 Ministers each are the Members. Chief Secretaries and senior officers from the State Governments and the Central Government will also attend the meeting.

The Zonal Councils take up issues involving Centre and States and one or many States falling in the Zone. The Zonal Councils, thus, provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between Centre and States and among many States in the Zone. The Zonal Councils discuss broad range of issues which include boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water, and power etc and matters pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport among others.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed on the need to leverage co-operative and competitive federalism to achieve all-round growth. Zonal Councils provide the platform to foster such collaboration through a structured mechanism for dialogue and discussion on continuous basis on the issues affecting two or more states or the Centre and States, in the spirit that strong States make a strong nation.

Home Minister Amit Shah has given impetus to this vision of cooperative federalism to empower States and promote a better understanding between the Centre and States in the policy framework. He has emphasised on using the platform of Zonal Council for dispute resolving and promoting cooperative federalism.

Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1957 under States Re-organization Act, 1956. Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these five Zonal Councils and Chief Ministers of the host State which are chosen by rotation every year is the Vice-Chairman.  Two more Ministers from each State are nominated as Members by the Governor.

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