HYDERABAD: Despite Sivaramakrishnan panel’s opposition to locate the new capital on Vijayawada-Guntur stretch, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is understood to be firm on his proposal of setting up the new capital in between Vijayawada and Guntur.
It is further learnt that Naidu has almost made up his mind to locate the new capital in between Mangalagiri and Amaravathi, spreading across mandals like Tadikonda and Tulluru in Guntur district. ‘’The chief minister has decided to locate the capital on the banks of river Krishna at Amaravathi, which has Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the famous Pancharamas,” said a source.
According to sources, as Krishna River passes through the east of Amaravathi, Naidu is planning to locate the capital either side of the river by constructing ultra-modern bridges across the river.
During the state Cabinet meeting slated on Monday, the chief minister is expected to give a clarity on the capital.
The scheduled Cabinet meet is, however, generating much curiosity among political circles as some of the ministers in Naidu’s Cabinet, particularly deputy chief minister KE Krishna Murthy had openly rejected the proposal of locating the new capital in between Vijayawada and Guntur.
Since Sivaramakrishnan panel’s recommendations on locating the new capital provided much ammunition to the ‘opposers’ of ‘capital at Vijayawada’ proposal, political pundits are agog on how the ministers from other regions in the state would react.
When asked about the possibility of some of the Rayalaseema ministers raising their voice against locating the capital nearer to Vijayawada in the Cabinet meeting, a senior minister told Express, “No minister will find fault with Naidu’s proposal as the place is centrally located and is also accessible for people from all regions.’’
Meanwhile, the state government reportedly decided to virtually ignore the Sivaramakrishnan panel’s report on the capital.
‘’The report is incomplete and incomprehensive. There are contradictory points in the report. Moreover, the panel failed to give a focused guidance to the government on finding a proper location for the capital,” a close aide of chief minister told Express.
Reacting to the comment made by the panel in its report that in other states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal the concept of geographical centrality does not exist, the leader wondered, “This observation is meaningless. If cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata developed and transformed into world-class cities in these states, they got that stature as they happened to be port cities and also played a key role in British India. Sivaramakrishnan Committee appears to have conveniently forgotten this while opposing the concept of centrality for Vijayawada-Guntur.’’
Party MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao on Sunday alleged that Some of the members of the panel had bought vast stretches of land in and around Donakonda area. Hence, they are backing the proposal of setting up the new capital at Donakonda.
With the capital committee opposing Naidu’s proposal to locate the capital near Vijayawada, Congress leaders have begun stepping up their attack on Naidu. Former APCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana said, “Naidu appears to be finalising the place for the capital by keeping the interests of the people of his caste in mind”.