Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati farmers upset with Vizag capital decision

Farmers in the Amaravati capital region who gave their lands as part of an elaborate land pooling arrangement to the Andhra Pradesh government are upset with the decision of the Jaganmohan Reddy government to move the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam. With speculation that the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) could be scrapped and their lands would be returned, the farmers are aggrieved that the government is reneging on its part of the promise.

The farmers have been hit hard. Many of the farmers never wanted to part with their land. They were coerced into doing so three years ago, with the government using even police pressure to get them to sign on the dotted line. To add salt to injury, the YSRCP leaders are now dubbing the protesting farmers as “paid artistes” and “TDP farmers”. 

Two points need to be made here. Notwithstanding the foolhardiness of the decision to convert a fertile land into a concrete jungle, the farmers had a contract with a sovereign entity. Scrapping APCRDA cannot change that reality. If the contract cannot be honoured now, the farmers need to be treated with respect. The government is expected to explain to them why it does not wish to develop Amaravati as the main Andhra capital. After all, they did not deal with Telugu Desam or YSRCP, it was the Government of Andhra Pradesh that entered into a deal with them.  

This has been the big issue with the Jagan sarkar. It sees every decision made by the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime with jaundiced eyes, refusing to honour any financial commitment made to vendors who had delivered work for the Andhra Pradesh government between 2014-19. What Jagan does not realise is that this will create a bad impression in the market, damage business sentiment as such an attitude is not seen as investor-friendly.

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