Vijayawada: The former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party’s national president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on 19 July, made a fervent plea to Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan to consider the interests and future aspirations of all sections of the state before taking a final decision on the CRDA Repeal and three capitals Bills.
Mr. Naidu reminded the Governor that the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council has not rejected but only referred the two “anti-people” Bills to the select committee. When the Bills were unlawfully brought before the House a second time, the Council did not consider the same as they were pending before the committee.
The TDP chief, in a six-page letter to Mr. Harichandan, recalled that the approval of the two Bills at this juncture would amount to contempt of the High Court that is in the process of hearing many petitions against the government’s ulterior move to shift the capital in the name of decentralised development. Moreover, the two Bills violated Section 6 of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 under which the Central government had appointed an experts committee that had eventually led to the finalisation of Amaravati as the state capital.
The section also suggests that the Centre form the committee within six months of the Reorganisation Act coming into effect so that the panel can make recommendations for developing “a capital” for the residual AP state.
Stating that the bifurcation Act passed by the Parliament suggested “only one capital” for AP, the TDP chief said this was one of the many points that suggested the Bills under consideration was brought in violation of the country’s established Parliamentary practices and traditions. The YSRCP regime’s thoughtless actions were hurting not just the contemporary AP society but also all future generations and their aspirations and developmental needs, Mr. Naidu wrote.
He told the Governor that the YSRCP was bent on destroying Amaravati in the name of three capitals and decentralisation only out of political vendetta. In fact, Amaravati was widely known as a long-standing cultural centre and the most-suited and centrally-located place for Andhra Pradesh’s capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself said Amaravati would be developed as a better city than Delhi at the time of laying the foundation stone, Mr. Naidu said, adding that the Centre has also recognised Amaravati as a ‘smart city’ and allocated Rs. 700 crore. Besides, the Central government has already provided Rs. 2,500 crore for developing the Secretariat, Assembly, Council, High Court, and other basic facilities, the TDP chief reminded the Governor.
Mr. Naidu asserted that Amaravati was selected as per the Centre’s experts committee’s recommendations that suggested the Vijayawada-Guntur region for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. “Standing on the banks of the Krishna river, Amaravati has a long history as the capital of the first Telugu kingdom of the Satavahanas and also as a devotional centre for Shaivism and Buddhism.
The stupas located in Amaravati were world-renowned even as a ‘Kalachakra’ was organised here under the leadership of the Dalai Lama in 2006. The local farmers sacrificed their ancestral lands of nearly 33,000 acres under a unique land pooling scheme just for the noble goal of constructing a grand capital city for the state,” he wrote.
The former Chief Minister said that within a short time, Amaravati has attracted national and international partnerships from prestigious groups like the Singapore Consortium, Japanese engineers, World Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
So far, Rs. 10,000 crore has been spent to develop basic infrastructure in Amaravati. This massive project was built on a unique self-financing model that would create wealth for the whole state as the city develops by leaps and bounds over time, Mr. Naidu claimed.