Nellore: The Greater Rayalaseema movement, which has been dormant for many years, has now come to the fore amid speculations about the efforts of the ruling YSR Congress to revert criticism of the Telugu Desam Party. There has been a regular war of words between the ruling and Opposition parties and the leaders are now raising the issue of separate statehood for Rayalaseema.

Former MP and torchbearer of the movement, Gangula Pratap Reddy, visited Nellore on 25 February and the next day interacted with the local politicos asking for their support to taking forward the movement.

He demanded that Greater Rayalaseema be constituted as a separate state with four Rayalaseema districts, including Prakasam and Nellore, based on the utilisation of water. He criticised former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and the current CM Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy who is from the Rayalaseema region. “One has pushed the capital to Vijayawada and another is trying to move it to north Andhra neglecting the interests of their own region. These leaders should remember that people who gave them the thumping majority can easily pull away if their sentiments are hurt,” he warned.

Chief Minister Jagan, who came to power in 2019 with a resounding majority, is now focusing on the north Andhra region because of his hatred for Mr Naidu, Mr Pratap Reddy alleged. He bemoaned that Rayalaseema has become a cursed area with no significant development where projects have been delayed for many decades. He said that if the other two districts, Nellore and Prakasam, joined the region, the proposed new state would become number one across the country.

The former MP pointed out that thousands of crores of rupees were being spent to acquire land for the construction of the capital city when government lands were readily available in Rayalaseema. He said Vizag city is not accessible to everybody in the state. He appealed to the local leaders to come forward to start a collective movement to protect the rights of the Rayalaseema region.

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