HYDERABAD: Amidst uproar and noisy scenes by Opposition YSRC members, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu declared in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Thursday that the capital of the State will come up near Vijayawada.
Ignoring protests by the Opposition, Naidu defended his decision to locate the capital near Vijayawada, claiming it was an informed decision. He said equal importance will be given for the comprehensive development of all the 13 districts in a decentralised manner.
The Opposition remained very adamant that discussion should take place before the announcement of the capital city. But the ruling party said it cannot accommodate Opposition’s request and that a discussion could take place after Naidu’s statement. The Opposition managed to have the session adjourned thrice even as the chief minisiter was trying to defend his stand. When the House met at 9 a.m., Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao disallowed adjournment motion by the Opposition for a discussion on the location of the new capital. Pressing their point, opposition party legislators rushed to the well of the House and raised slogans. Arguments took place between the protesting MLAs and the Speaker over the rule position.
Ministers Ravela Kishore Babu and K Achannaidu flayed the Opposition for their behaviour in the House. The Speaker once again pointed out that the Opposition cannot dictate the agenda, which is as per rules. “I have said there will be a statement by the CM and you can react on it,” he said.
Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy said what would be the use of a discussion once the CM issues a statement. He said in 1953, there was a discussion first and the statement followed after voting. “We too want a discussion prior to any announcement by the CM. We should not be bulldozed in the matter,” said Jagan. The Opposition continued to stall the proceedings by staging protests in the Well of the House. Ruling party MLAs objected to it and the House got adjourned for the second time for another 10 minutes. When Naidu stood up and made his statement on the location of the capital, there was sloganeering by opposition MLAs. At one point, he admonished them to behave, and when they did not heed his words, he asked the Speaker to control the House and sat down.
Later, Jagan, reversing his stand suddenly, welcomed the Government’s decision, though it was unilateral. Following this, the CM rose and explained in detail where the capital will be located and the government’s action plan for the development of different districts and the state as a whole, for about two-and -a-half-hours. He concluded by proposing eight resolutions in regard to the capital and help from the Centre. It was followed by members of ruling and opposition parties responding to it, till the House was adjourned for the day. In his long speech, Naidu said the decision on the location of the new capital was taken only after examining the report of KC Sivaramakrishnan Committee. Naidu said the present situation had arisen due to the conspiracy of the Congress party against Telugu people, who felt humiliated and taught it a fitting lesson by rejecting it outright. He said Hyderabad was developed by him. “For a capital, population, social life and employment opportunities should be there,” he stressed.
Citing the example of Hyderabad, he said there was no proper airport for international flights to land in the city when he came to power. “When I urged investors to come to Hyderabad, they asked me how. When I explained that they can come to Hyderabad via Mumbai making a transit halt, they said it would be easier for them to invest in Mumbai,” he recalled.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, he said if given a chance, the Opposition would like to take the capital to Iddupulapaya as they had taken the headquarters of RGKUT. He advised Jagan, who stood to object, to know history before he speaks. “You are a first-time MLA and became Leader of Opposition. But you should know history. I have seen many leaders from Chenna Reddy to YSR in this very House,” he said.