The YSRCP government, which took over in May last year, has alleged irregularities by the previous Naidu government in awarding contracts for building Amaravati. (Photo Credit: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy/Twitter)
In a controversial move, the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government on Monday approved the three-capital formula stripping Amaravati of its special status. According to new plan, Andhra Pradesh will get three capitals – Amaravati, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam. The move comes amid massive protests by the farmers in the state. In a special 3-day session, the Jagan Mohan government introduced the 3-capital plan in the state Assembly. The Andhra Cabinet has already accepted the formula, latest reports say. The setup envisages development of Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as the legislative, executive and judicial capital cities.
In simple terms this means that Andhra government will shift the state Secretariat and the Chief Minister's office to Visakhapatnam and the High Court to Kurnool. The decision was taken almost a month after the Jagan Mohan government deferred the key meet in December last year.
Main opposition – the Telugu Desam Party – has said that the Jagan Mohan government is acting against people’s wishes. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had said that the state government must rethink about the three-capital plan as it would affect massive funding proposals. The party has termed the new capital idea as anti-farmer.
The state is witnessing widespread protests by farmers opposing the move. Expert committees headed by former IAS officer GN Rao and Boston Consulting Group were roped in to work on the idea. It should be noted that in 2014, 28,000 farmers had given up nearly 33,000 acres of agricultural land for the 'futuristic capital' proposed by then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. TDP leaders took out rally in support of Amaravati chanting "One state-one capital" and "Save Amaravati-Save Andhra Pradesh" slogans.
On Sunday, Chandrababu Naidu had urged Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy not to shift the state capital from Amaravati, warning that about Rs 50,000 crore committed investment could be withdrawn and also make farmers suffer. Denying any "irregularities" in the decision making for Amaravati as capital during his tenure, Naidu asserted he does not have any "vested interest" in Amaravati, saying his party is fighting to control further damage of the state.
The YSRCP government, which took over in May last year, has alleged irregularities by the previous Naidu government in awarding contracts and in allotting prime lands to those close to the then chief minister. Already Rs 10,000 crore has been spent on developing Amaravati and many structures from the secretariat to assembly complexes, courts, Raj Bhavan and DGP office have come up.