HYDERABAD: Even as backward Rayalaseema region is witnessing sporadic protests opposing the State government’s decision to locate the new capital of Andhra Pradesh near Vijayawada, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday announced in the State Assembly that the new capital of the reorganised State would be located near Vijayawada only.
Amid protests from the members of YSR Congress who stormed into the well of the House demanding a debate on the recommendations of the Sivaramkrishnan Committee, Naidu read out the resolution, adopted by the State Cabinet on September 1.
“The cabinet of AP resolved to locate the capital in a central place of the State around Vijayawada. It decided to go for decentralised development of the State with three mega cities and 14 smart cities. It is proposed to go for land pooling system to be worked out by a Cabinet sub-committee,” the Chief Minister said.
In the 20-page statement on ‘Comprehensive Development and Location of Capital of AP’, Naidu claimed that even the Sivaramakrishnan Committee in its report, submitted to the Centre recently, explicitly acknowledged that the “decisions regarding capital city or location of capital is a prerogative of the AP government in consultation with the Central government”.
Stating that the decision of the State Cabinet is a reflection of the popular sentiment and is affirmed by the views expressed in the representations received by the Sivaramakrishnan panel, the Chief Minister claimed that nearly 50 per cent of the representations received by the committee favoured Vijayawada-Guntur region as the best location for the capital area.
“In this context, the State government is of the opinion that the interests of the entire State and its balanced development can be best served by locating the capital at a central place around Vijayawada. This would enable equal access to people from all regions of the State,” Naidu remarked.
Though Leader of the Opposition and YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted the government to first debate the issue of capital and later make the statement, Naidu rejected this suggestion saying that people of the State had given a clear mandate for the TDP to decide the capital.
Earlier, the House witnessed noisy scenes as YSRC members stormed into the well raising slogans, demanding the government first hold discussion on the issue of capital. YSRC MLAS tried to stop the Chief Minister from reading out the statement.
Jagan demanded the government to first debate the issue as was done in 1953 when Kurnool was chosen as the capital of Andhra State and later the government can issue the statement. Naidu expressed displeasure over the way the Opposition was stalling the House and said he could not continue his speech in din. Legislative Affairs Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu asked the Speaker to consider that Naidu’s statment was deemed to have been read out.
Following commotion, Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao adjourned the House for 15 minutes. When the session resumed, Jagan announced that he was welcoming the decision to locate the capital at Vijayawada.
Later, Naidu read out the 20-page statement. Stating that he is more concerned about the backward Rayalaseema region, Naidu said he had plans to make the region a manufacturing hub.