AP 3 Capitals: Naidu Challenges Jagan

Telugu Desam Party supremo and former CM N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed agony over the CRDA repeal and three-capital bills getting clearance from the Governor and threw down a gauntlet to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to seek people’s mandate again by dismissing the Assembly on the same issue. Else, he demanded a referendum.

He said that the day when the Governor expressed his assent to the two controversial bills will remain a Black Day in the history of AP.

Speaking to the media via video conference from Hyderabad, Naidu said that he was keen on Amaravati not to enjoy it for himself but to build a world-class city which the people in the state can proudly claim to be theirs. “I might live for 10 more years bit after that, it will be the people of AP who will enjoy its fruits,” he said.

Naidu reminded that Jagan expressed support to Amaravati in the Assembly when he was in the Opposition benches. “Later, you (Jagan) did not make any mention of change in the capital. In the YCP manifesto, the party president time and again repeated there would be no change in the capital even if the party came to power. However, soon after assuming charge, you had taken a U-turn and gone back on your words (madama tipparu). If you think, your decision has people’s support, seek people’s verdict again by going for polls. Else, seek referendum on the issue of capital, whether they need single capital or three capitals. If people want three capitals, then I will remain silent. If people want one capital, then you change your decision. Decide on which option you would take up,” he suggested.

The TDP supremo slammed the CM for betraying the farming community which had parted with 33,000 acres to build the world-class capital city, Amaravati. He also took exception to the Governor giving approval to the two controversial Bills, despite knowing the ground reality.

Naidu said that both the Bills were referred to the Select Committee and the Advocate General himself admitted to it before the High Court. The Chairman of the Legislative Council met the Governor and apprised him of the situation. He told the Governor that the state government was trying to create hurdles in the procedure even after the Bills were sent to the Select Committee, Naidu reminded and wondered how could the Governor sign on the bills.

He said that the Governor’s signature would not change the Constitution or the law and cited the example of State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar’s case.

Peeved over the dramatic developments in connection with the Bills, he said that AP needed decentralisation of development but not governance. “If capitals can bring development, why can’t they be set up in all the 13 districts?” he asked.

The TDP president reminded that they had announced what all they would do for each of the 13 districts soon after declaring Amaravati as the capital. In the five-year term, the TDP government had fulfilled a few of the promises, he claimed, adding that they would have done some more had they been given chance the next time. “Announcements on establishing capitals will not benefit people,” he said.

He criticised the YCP government for not being able to go ahead with regard to any irrigation project or provide jobs by making a company set up its shop in the state in the last 14 months of its rule. He faulted the government for failing to check the spread of Covid-19 in the state by putting at least 10 per cent efforts of what it had invested in the shifting of the capital.

However, he declared that the TDP will fight it out till the end. “We will continue the fight both legally and in Amaravati. We will not relent unless justice is delivered to AP farmers and people,” he asserted.

TDP senior leader and Rajamahendravaram Rural MLA Gorantla Bucchiah Chowdary said that the Governor had murdered the Constitution and that he surrendered to the YCP government.

TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh said that destroying systems was the trade mark of Jagan Mohan Reddy and unfortunately, the Governor is also trapped in the system.