Vijayawada Region to be new Andhra Pradesh Capital, Rayalaseema Up in Arms; Seeds of Another Division Sown Again?

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday announced the region between Vijayawada and Guntur (Mangalagiri) to be the new capital of the Andhra Pradesh in the state Assembly defending his move as popular sentiment, with opposition YSR Congress members shouting and staging strong protests for not including Rayalaseema people’s wishes to set it up in their region.

YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy said the decision on the new capital must be debated on the floor of the house and voted upon,instead of autocratically imposing it upon the people, who are already battered by the denial of Hyderabad where their decades-long investments proved futile.

Some leaders of YSR Congress also alleged that Vijayawada, being a support base of Mr Naidu with huge Kamma community holding real estate interests in the region, was given the due importance while leaving aside his own Rayalaseema region to the secondary status.

Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in June to create Telangana and Hyderabad would remain the common capital for 10 years. But meanwhile, AP should carve out its own capital or build one and Mr Naidu’s chice is the sole criteria for the Centre too to agree on a place his cabinet finalizes. But he has chosen to overurle a central committee recommendation that has reportedly advised against the Vijayawada region, where the land is highly expensive — in crores per acre of land — which may drench all the funds to just buy a piece of 100 acres.

YSR Congress, led by Jagan Mohan Reddy, which is strong in Rayalaseema, says the Chief Minister is pushing for Vijayawada despite several reasons against the choice as his close senior leader himself has vast real estate properties in the area and was willing to part with at concessional rates for the government, if required.

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