Rayalaseema leaders to sit on deeksha, demand second capital

The Rayalaseema leaders supporting the concept of decentralization are meeting tomorrow in Kadapa to demand second capital to the region.

Leaders of many people’s organization who formed a united forum, Rayalaseema Prajasanghala Samanvaya Vedika, are organizing a day-long Prajasankalpa Deeksha with a demand to re-designate the proposed Judicial capital as the second capital, among other things.

Rayalaseema, comprising four districts of Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor, is not greatly enthused by the location of the so-called judicial capital at Kurnool.

When chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy indicated this on the floor of the Assembly it didn’t erupt jubilation on the streets of Kurnool, the first capital of Andhra state carved out of Madras state in 1953.

Even the provocative slogan of one-state-one-capital given by Chandrababu Naidu failed to incite backlash among the students and youth of the region.

There has been an unusual disinterest in the whole capital politics in the region and the commotion is confined to a band of leaders from political parties and small non-political outfits. The occasional rallies were sponsored by the YSR Congress.

Many in the region feel the High Court is not a substitute for the Capital.The region has been demanding the location of capital in Rayalaseema or restoration of the capital status of Kurnool ever since the Telangana movement took birth. They think the location of capital alone would spur all-round economic activity and create large numbers of jobs. High Court, except the spin-off benefits, would not create jobs for the youth of the region, they argue.

According to Kuradi Chandrasekhara Kalkura, a lawyer and Rayalaseema activist, the location of High Court at Kurnool would not address the core issues of the region.

“It’s true High Court does bring benefits to the region. But the main demands of the region are water and jobs. All projects , under construction or proposed, are based not on allocated or assured water. No government has ever promised assured water. The people won’t be pacified unless the region gets assured water for all projects. Second point for the lack of enthusiasm is the impression that High Court is not a great job creator,’ he told the Newsmeter.

Praja Sankalpa Deeksha is meant to highlight core demands of Rayalaseema, said Yanamala Nagireddy who is actively involved in the organization of Kadapa deeksha.

Talking to the Newsmeter, Reddy said Friday’s meeting would echo the general sentiment of the public which revolve about the assured water and jobs.

“We want the location of second capital in Rayalaseema. We won’t accept the one-state-one-capital call of former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Similarly, the slogans ‘Greater Rayalaseema’ and ‘nothing short of capital’ of leaders like MV Mysoora Reddy is not acceptable for us. We support the concept of decentralization of chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy, but Rayalaseema should get its due in the process,” Nagireddy asserted.

Tomorrow’s meeting will approve a charter of demands. “ A per the Sri Bagh Pact, Rayalaseema people should be given an opportunity to choose between the capital city and the High Court. Neither the previous government nor the present one has honored this Gentleman Agreement. Still, we welcome the concept of decentralization. But, the government should take concrete steps to quell the displeasure among the people,” said Bojja Dasaratharamiddy , convenor of Rayalaseema Praja Sanghala Samanvaya Vedika.

Stating that mere High Court won’t meet the aspirations of the people, Dasarath said region should be designated as second capital with a mini secretariat and an Assembly. As for the water allocation, he said water from Srisaialam dam should entirely be allocated to Rayalaseema after diverting the Godavari water to Krishna delta. “ We will release a charter of 9 demand which include among other things assured water to all irrigation projects of the region, special package to Rayalaseema on the lines of Budelkhand package, Shifting of Krishna Water Management Board, AIIMS, Agricultural University to the region, increasing the number of Assembly seats in the region on a par with coastal Andhra,” Dasarath said adding that they would intensify the movement if their demands are ignored.

Jinka Nagaraju

Jinka Nagaraju is a Hyderabad based journalist. He covered the entire spectrum of political activities of Telugu states from Hyderabad and New Delhi for about 3 decades. He represented Vaartha in New Delhi during the most happening decade of 1996-2006. He was political correspondent of Times of India from Hyderabad for 10 years. He was editor of Asianet’s Telugu digital platform. He contributed to many digital media outlets such as Al Jazeera, News 18, Newsable, South Post, The Lede ,Down to Earth etc. He is known for his Anthropological approach in the news analysis. He studied Physical Anthropology and prehistoric archaeology with Human population genetics as specialization, and his area of interest is Political Anthropology and Media Anthropology.

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