The Andhra Pradesh Assembly will hold a special three-day session from Monday to decide on the plan to build three new capitals in the state. The session, which was set to begin at 11 am, comes amid protests against the proposal, NDTV reported. Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s Cabinet met earlier in the day.
The situation in the state has been tense since last month, when Reddy declared that the state would have three capitals – executive capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative capital in Amaravati, and judicial capital in Kurnool. Reddy’s government wanted to move the state secretariat and the chief minister’s office to Visakhapatnam and the High Court to Kurnool.
Protests have been underway in 29 villages of Amravati and other parts of the state since December by farmers opposed to the proposal. About 28,000 farmers had given up 33,000 acres of agricultural land in 2014 for the “futuristic capital” of Amravati, proposed by then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Protestors fear they will have monetary setbacks if the capitals move.
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. The protesting farmers fear they will suffer financial setback if the capital is moved from Amaravati.
Elaborate security arrangements have been set up for the session. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place in Vijayawada and Guntur. Large gatherings have also been banned in Amaravati.
Reddy’s government has alleged that there were several irregularities in awarding contracts and allotting contracts to build Amaravati. Besides Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, the BJP, the Jana Sena and the Communist Party of India have backed farmers in their protests and accused Reddy of taking “unilateral decisions”.
“Does it makes sense to shift the capital when the construction is almost at an advanced stage,” Naidu asked on Sunday, according to PTI. “An investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore has been committed that has potential to generate 50,000 jobs in the state. About 130 institutes from hospitals to education hub were to come up. All this will not happen if the capital is shifted.”