In September, the YSRCP government went into an overdrive when Chandrababu Naidu announced his plan to organise a rally to Atmakur to focus attention on the alleged killings of Telugu Desam activists by members of the ruling party. Now the former chief minister’s plan to tour Amaravati on 28 November seems to have created a similar flutter when a more sensible strategy would be to simply ignore it.
Minister after minister in Jaganmohan Reddy’s cabinet has been holding forth on Naidu’s proposed visit and worse, losing control over language, in a bid to deride Naidu’s move. Civil Supplies minister Kodali Nani compared Naidu to dogs, goats and buffaloes and said like these animals “Chandrababu Naidu too will roam in the capital”. Asking “why there is so much ruckus over Naidu’s visit”, Nani accused Naidu of developing a capital city only for growing weeds. The minister claimed only 4-5 half constructed buildings had come up so far in Amaravati.
Municipal Administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana referred to Amaravati as nothing more than a “samshanam” (crematorium). The minister who was the first to raise doubts over Amaravati’s future as the capital of Andhra Pradesh asked Naidu if he was going to Amaravati “to witness the capital burial ground and cry”.
Agriculture minister Kanna Babu was more restrained and only warned Naidu to be wary of farmers who will pull him up when he visits Amaravati. Over the past few days, the region has seen farmers divided on political lines. While those who had given their land to the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) as part of the land pooling arrangement were seen to be pro-TDP for obvious reasons, pro-YSRCP farmer voices have also started emerging now.
Meanwhile, in a surprise move, Jagan ordered the completion of the half-finished projects in Amaravati on priority basis. But orders have been issued not to do anything about the construction of the administrative structures like the Secretariat, High court and the Assembly suggesting that the last word has not been said on Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The GN Rao committee on Amaravati is expected to give its report soon after which the CM will take a final call.