With two weeks of their agitation yielding little except photo-ops for Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan, the farmers of Amaravati have decided to intensify their protest at the Andhra Pradesh government’s proposed decision to move the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam. They have decided to launch a Sakula Janula Samme (All People’s Strike) to bring Amaravati to a complete standstill.
Coupled with the protests in their backyard, the farmers who gave 33000 acres of their fertile land as part of the land pooling exercise undertaken by the previous Andhra Pradesh government, have written letters to the President and Vice President of India, seeking their intervention. But so far, the Centre has kept its hands off the issue. Union minister of state for Home Kishan Reddy has clarified the decision on where to locate the state capital rests with the state government.
The YSRCP government has adopted a three-pronged approach to the Amaravati protests. Ignore, Control, Attack.
Jaganmohan Reddy personally has ignored whatever is taking place in Amaravati. To rub it in, he has met the Boston Consulting Group members to accept their report on where to locate the capital. And at a meeting in Eluru, Jagan spoke of correcting the wrong committed earlier by seeking to develop only one region by insisting three capitals will lead to all-round development.
The government has deployed its police machinery in order to keep the protesters under control. This has led to frayed tempers, abusive language and use of force with the farmers with the support of Telugu Desam activists taking to social media to highlight the attitude of the YSRCP regime.
The third strategy is to attack and here the government has outsourced the job to the party. YSRCP leaders have called the protesters as “paid artistes” and criticised the move by Naidu’s wife, Nara Bhuvaneswari to donate her gold bangles to the cause of the Amaravati farmers. The party has alleged insider trading to benefit TDP leaders even as the government or the police machinery has not moved against any leader named by the ruling party, leading many to believe it is just political muck being thrown around.