Disagreement on the decision of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to change the state capital has intensified as Opposition Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu challenged the government led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to hold a referendum on the issue of the three capital of Andhra Pradesh and said that if people supported it, he would retire from politics. He said that the Chief Minister should apologize to the people on the issue of shifting the state capital against their wishes.
Significantly, last year, the Chief Minister of the state Jaganmohan Reddy presented the idea of three capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh on the lines of South Africa. Later, the government passed a law, keeping Visakhapatnam the executive affairs capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital, and Amravati as the legislative capital. This decision was opposed not only by all the opposition parties but also by the farmers of Amravati whose lands were acquired to build the Amravati capital.
All parties except YSR Congress have given their support to the movement. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Naidu said that people gave Jagan Mohan Reddy an opportunity and he ‘tricked’ the people. He said, “People voted to bring Jagan to power because he asked for a chance. But this will be his last chance because he has completely cheated people. He cannot avoid the curse of women.” Demonstrating solidarity with the farmers who were protesting, BJP state president Somu Veeraraju said in a statement that his party was in favour of keeping Amravati the state capital.
The matter is now in the court as the farmers who gave their arable land for the city of Amravati opposed the transfer of the state capital in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Since December 17 last year, local farmers, with the help of various parties and other organizations, have been holding peaceful demonstrations demanding Amravati to be the state capital. On the completion of one year of this movement, the opposition parties organized a mass rally, from this platform Naidu has challenged the government to hold a referendum on the issue of creating three capital.
On the completion of a year of peasants’ struggle to maintain the state capital Amravati, Naidu addressed a large rally in Raipur village in Amravati. Naidu said in his speech that 6 crore people of the state chose Jagan Mohan Reddy with confidence and Reddy is deceiving the same people.
“Reddy should apologize to the people of Andhra for the decision to build three capitals without public consent,” former Andhra CM added.
While Jagan Reddy is facing hostility in his state he received praise from neighbouring state as Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna said that governance in a neighbouring state is better than the one in which he is a minister. Malladi Krishna, a Congress leader who represents the Yanam constituency in Puducherry, said “The people of Tamil Nadu need a Chief Minister like YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He has kept his word of serving the BC community. I am ready to resign and work for the government as long as you are the chief minister.”