Protests back in Amaravati after 5 years

Many, however, hoped for a better return on their land and were in favour of the government scheme.

VIJAYAWADA: The protests and agitations in Amaravati are back again, only this time it is the pro-Amaravati farmers who are protesting.

When the government started taking land for establishing the capital city of Amaravati, five years ago, angry farmers refused to give up their fertile multi-crop lands and held numerous protests and agitations.

Many, however, hoped for a better return on their land and were in favour of the government scheme. Now it is these latter farmers who are protesting and opposing the shifting of the capital from Amaravati.

Locals and farmers of Rayapudi in Amaravati, M. Seshagiri, S. Karimulla and others, recalled that the executive capital was proposed on the banks of the Krishna river at Rayapudi, Lingayapalem and Uddandarayunipalem, according to the then TD government’s ‘Singapore masterplan’, which boasted of building another Singapore here.

A majority of farmers who didn’t understand the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) were reluctant to give up their land but gradually half of the farmers, mainly the wealthier ones, agreed to do so.

Small and marginal farmers, whose sole source of livelihood was the land, held out, and protests and agitations broke out in the Amaravati villages. “At that time, pro-Amaravati farmers obstructed the visits of the then opposition leaders to Amaravati. Now they are conducting protests and agitations as they are the victims of the proposal of the three capitals project of the present government.”

Farmers, Ganesh, Rajesh and Naresh Reddy, recalled the burning of crops of the reluctant farmers and how police registered cases against reluctant farmers and police pickets were set up in the villages to control the situation. They recalled that the milk collection centre in the middle of Mandadam village was converted into a police station and then a sub-control centre to keep law and order on track. Today, protests and agitations have defaced the panchayat offices as the pro-Amaravati farmers have become the victims of the three capitals proposal of the present government.

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