Andhra Pradesh

Pawan Kalyan in favour of Amaravati as Andhra capital

Pawan Kalyan will visit Amaravati on August 30 and 31. This is to assess the situation on the ground for himself and to lend physical support to his demand that the capital should not be moved away from Amaravati. 

“People including me don’t know what development is going on in Amaravati. What about the money spent so far on the project? It is the people’s money and not that of the ministers or the chief minister?” Pawan Kalyan said in a statement.

This is in sync with TDP Lok Sabha MP Jaydev Galla’s assertion that Rs 9000 crore have already been spent on the Amaravati project. 

Pawan met farmer representatives who had given 33000 acres as part of a land pooling exercise to the Andhra Pradesh government. Advising the YSRCP government not to overturn the decision of the Naidu regime, Pawan said, “It could make corrections if there are any irregularities otherwise people will lose faith in the government and its policies if it changes the capital city.”

While Pawan in his capacity as an opposition leader is entitled to his opinion, this is seen as moving away from his previous position. In April 2018, he was the guest of honour to release `Whose capital is Amaravati?’, a controversial book written by former Andhra Pradesh chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao. The book was highly critical of Naidu’s decision to establish the capital in Amaravati. In that meeting, Pawan made a reference to Cyberabad, the IT area developed around Hyderabad during Naidu’s regime and warned against centralised development in a single location. 

Pawan’s position now has exposed the Jana Sena to criticism of being in league with the TDP, singing the same tune. During the election campaign as well, Pawan was accused of helping the TDP by splitting the anti-TDP vote.

The YSRCP government’s position is that Amaravati is a flood-prone area, an aspect highlighted earlier by the Sivaramakrishnan committee but ignored by Chandrababu Naidu, and that it would entail too much expenditure to ensure the state capital does not get submerged during the monsoon. BJP MP TG Venkatesh went on record on Sunday to say Jaganmohan Reddy is planning to dump Amaravati and set up four capitals in the four regions of Andhra Pradesh.

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