HYDERABAD: Keeping up the pressure on AP government on the eve of the budget session of the Assembly, Jana Sena founder and film star Pawan Kalyan on Friday rubbed it in further, suggesting that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu should learn a thing or two from his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao.
“KCR convinced metro rail authorities to change the alignment as per the objections raised by locals and also to protect heritage sites. The AP government can also find a solution to the issues raised by local farmers in the capital region. Why is it not possible to find a solution, if they try?,” he questioned.
The brother of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi has put the Naidu government in a tight spot ahead of the budget session by raising the concerns of farmers who are unwilling to part with their lands for the new capital. His salvos seem to have given more ammunition to the opposition parties — YSRC chief Jagan on Friday joined the chorus against the government’s plans to construct a ‘world class capital’.
Pawan, who interacted with the farmers in the capital region on Thursday, sought to balance his criticism by praising the compensation package announced by Naidu to the farmers and at the same time, demanding that construction work of the capital should not be started before addressing the ryots’ issue.
Speaking at a press conference here, the actor said, “I did not visit the farmers to find fault with anybody. I don’t want to point fingers at any party (read TDP). My intention is to highlight loopholes in government policies.” Describing himself as an agriculturist, Pawan said, “I have come to represent those few farmers who are not ready to give their fertile lands. I want constitutional guarantee to the package announced for the farmers in the capital region”.
He ‘requested’ the government to exclude Penumaka, Bethapudi and Undavalli from the land pooling scheme by setting up a reviewing committee and advised the government not to ban cultivation in the capital region. “It will be better to stop cultivation only in areas where phase-1 capital city is being planned,” he felt.
Taking a dig at both Naidu and KCR, he said the duo were obsessed with the so-called ‘Singapore model’ and warned them against replicating it in the two Telugu States.
“There is a corruption-free environment in Singapore. But, here in our country, there is immense political corruption. Hence, the State government should give a guarantee that the 33,000 acres acquired for the new capital will not be misused. It should also give a clear assurance that the interests of farmers and agricultural labourers in the capital region will be safeguarded,” he demanded.
Recalling that lands acquired for special economic zones during the Rajasekhara Reddy regime were misused by investors, he cautioned the Naidu government against repeating the same mistake.