There is no letting up of the pressure by the farmers of Amaravati, supported by opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu who focused largely on building the capital in Amaravati during his tenure, has been at the forefront of the protest, ensuring that the optics would make New Delhi put pressure on YS Jaganmohan Reddy to reconsider his decision to shift the capital to Visakhapatnam.
On Thursday, Naidu hit the road in Machilipatnam town, collecting donations from the public for the cause of the Amaravati agitation. Last week, Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari had donated her gold bangles to the Amaravati funds. At the same time, after posting thousands of post cards to the President of India, the people of Amaravati dialled the Mann ki Baat phone line to appeal to the PM to prevent the shifting of the Andhra capital. It was pointed out to Narendra Modi that he had laid the foundation stone for Amaravati in October 2015.
The point the Telugu Desam is making is that the shifting of the capital was not mentioned in the YSRCP manifesto and that therefore, it does not have the mandate of the people. Here it is pertinent to mention that YSRCP won both the assembly constituencies of Mangalagiri and Tadikonda, which form part of the Amaravati capital region. In fact, Nara Lokesh (Naidu’s son) lost the election from Amaravati.
The all-important cabinet meeting to decide on the fate of Amaravati will take place on 18 January and may be followed by a one-day joint session of the Legislative Assembly and Council. If the administrative capital does move to Visakhapatnam, it will be the second shift in four years for government employees. In 2016, Naidu had moved out of Hyderabad, which is technically the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh till June 2024 and set up offices in Vijayawada.