HYDERABAD: Despite opposition parties, particularly the YSRC, launching a full-scale attack on the State government over the issue of new capital and the Rayalaseema region gradually witnessing protests, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has made up his mind to make an announcement in the Assembly on Thursday on location of capital near Vijayawada.
He, however, would try to soften the blow on Rayalaseema by announcing various projects and packages for each district, particuly those in the Seema region. While issuing the statement on the government’s choice for the new capital, Naidu is expected to explain how his government will decentralise the development in the truncated State during the proposed debate on the issue in the Assembly.
Interestingly, though the YSRC is demanding that the government first debate the issue and later issue a statement on its choice of location for new capital, Naidu is firm on first tabling the statement in the House and later holding the debate on the same. He is likely to make the announcement on the location of the capital at the auspicious time of 12.17 pm.
The Chief Minister reportedly wants to counter the attacks of the YSRC that his government is going unilaterally on the issue of capital.
On the other hand, the YSRC leadership is understood to have decided to corner the treasury benches on its alleged “unilateral” approach on deciding the capital. The main Opposition has also resolved to press for a voting on the issue in the House.
Giving a sneak preview of how the principal Opposition is going to corner the State government in the House on Thursday, Leader of the Opposition and the YSRC chief on Wednesday warned the treasury benches against deciding the place of new capital in a unilateral manner. Jagan and his MLAs tried to stall the proceedings in the House on Wednesday, insisting on a debate on the new capital.
The YSRC chief, who raised the capital issue soon after the question hour, wanted the government to thoroughly debate the issue in the Assembly. He also demanded the issue be put to vote before taking a final decision on the same.
The YSRC members stormed into the well of the House and demanded that the Speaker take note of their notice for an adjournment motion on the subject. The Speaker, however, rejected their notice and said they could discuss the issue once Naidu makes a statement on Thursday.
The YSRC chief had to face the wrath of Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, who made it clear to him that he cannot dictate terms to the House.
Objecting to remarks of Sports Minister K Atchannaidu, Jagan recalled that in July 1953, the then Assembly had discussed for five days the capital issue when the erstwhile Andhra state was carved out. Voting was also conducted to determine the capital’s location, he pointed out. “We want a discussion and voting on the capital. If that doesn’t happen, what is the Assembly for?” the YSRC chief questioned.
Replying to him, the Speaker said there were two methods to debate the issue. “The government’s statement will be followed by a discussion or vice-versa. It is the prerogative of the government,” he said, adding that the Leader of Opposition cannot “dictate the agenda” of the House.
Interestingly, for the first time after elections, the Congress and the CPI on Wednesday joined chorus with the YSRC and issued a stern warning to the ruling TDP not to take a unilateral decision on the crucial State capital question.