HYDERABAD: With Sivaramakrishnan committee vetoing AP government’s proposal to locate even the temporary capital in Vijayawada, the Cabinet meeting slated for Monday is expected to witness fireworks.
The 187-page report submitted to the Union Home Ministry gave a morale boost to those opposing capital in the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri (VGTM) region, even as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is said to be firm on VGTM. Now, all eyes are on the reaction of the state Cabinet to the report which said locating the capital in VGTM region will turn fertile lands into a concrete jungle.
Since the panel’s recommendations are not binding on AP government and the State will have the final say on the location of new capital, several ministers and TDP leaders, during private talks with scribes, say the Cabinet will only endorse Naidu’s view.
In fact, Naidu has time and again hinted at setting up the capital in VGTM area, saying the capital would be coming up at a centrally located place in the State.
Strengthening this argument, AP Irrigation Minister Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao on Saturday said, “The final decision on locating the new capital of AP would be taken by Chief Minister Naidu. We will also discuss the issue during the Cabinet meeting.” Interestingly, he said this in Kurnool, where leaders are demanding capital in their own region. Uma’s comments are being seen as an indication of Naidu’s resolve to decide the capital issue himself, and not leave it to the Central panel.
Yet, the panel’s report has provided the much needed impetus to Rayalaseema ministers and others who are opposing capital in the VGTM region.
Naidu’s deputy KE Krishna Murthy, who had openly opposed the plan to designate Vijayawada as temporary capital, reportedly told some of his aides that the State government is now contemplating to postpone the issue of finalising a suitable place for capital until a smart city is developed in each district across AP.
Meanwhile, some of the seniors in the ruling TDP feel that though the recommendations of the panel are not binding on the State government, the government cannot overlook the viewpoint of the Centre. The reason is that the Centre will have to give funds for the construction of the new capital.