Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday challenged YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to hold a referendum on the issue of whether the creation of three capitals for the state was a right decision or Amaravati should be retained as the only capital.
“Let us go into people and put forth our respective stands on Amaravati. If the people vote for your three capitals plan, I will quit politics forever,” Naidu said while addressing a huge rally of Amaravati farmers in Rayapudi, on the completion of one year of their agitation against the YSRCP-led government’s decision to form three capital cities.
On December 17, 2019, Jagan Mohan Reddy announced his plan to create three capitals for the state – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool. More than 24,000 farmers belonging to 29 villages who had surrendered nearly 34,000 acres of land for the construction of the world-class capital at Amaravati have been agitating in protest against the Jagan government’s decision since then.
“Amaravati was strategically chosen as the state capital as it is equidistant from all parts of the state. It six districts and 12 parliamentary constituencies on one side and another six districts and 13 parliamentary constituencies on the other side,” Naidu said.
Naidu reminded that even several media surveys had revealed that 80 per cent of the respondents had preferred Amaravati as the state capital. He said more than Rs 10,000 crore had already been spent on the creation of basic infrastructure in the capital city. In the years to come, Amaravati would have the potential to create a wealth of Rs 1-2 lakh crore, he said.
“Unfortunately, the chief minister is hell-bent on destroying Amaravati as well as the state. His ministers and MLAs are describing it as a burial ground and a desert. No sane person will take the decision to shift capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam,” the former chief minister said.
Earlier, Naidu visited Uddandarayunipalem village where Prime Minister Modi had laid the foundation stone for the capital. He prostrated before the heap of soil at the venue and paid obeisance to Yagashala (mandap where a havan was conducted at the time of foundation stone laying on October 22, 2015).
Besides, several leaders from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jana Sena, CPI and CPI (M) attended the rally and addressed the gathering.