KURNOOL: BJP Rajya Sabha member T.G. Venkatesh claimed that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had told the BJP leadership that Amaravati might not continue as the capital Andhra Pradesh. The capital could be divided into many cities, and Amaravati could be one of them.
Mr Venkatesh, who recen-tly defected to the BJP from the Telugu Desam, told mediapersons on Sunday, “The state government is going to go forward with four planning boards in four regions — Rayala-seema, Ongole-Guntur-Nellore region, Krishna-Godavari region, and Srikakulam-Vizag-Vizianagaram region — to give prominence to each region,” he said.
Planning board offices could be called regional secretariat offices, or capital cities. “Like four seasons, we can have four capitals in the state,” he added. “Whatever Jagan plans on doing, it is evident that the centralisation of Amaravati would be disturbed,” he said.
Seemingly arguing for the idea, he said that by infusing lakhs of crores of rupees into Amaravati, the other regions would be left behind and even Rayala-seema would demand to be bifurcated from Andhra Pradesh. “The activity of distributing the capitals to be taken up by Jagan would be appreciated by the people of all the regions,” he said.
About the Assembly, he said building it was a matter of Rs 20 crore. All the regions have good accommodation for the MLAs. Thanks to technology, there was no need for a specific place to be designated as a centre, and work could be done from any place.
On other issues, he said that if Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy failed to the complete Polavaram project during his tennure, it would give new lease of life to TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.
He suggested that Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy be wary of Telangana state Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao who he likened to an “electric light pole” which attracts fireflies and glow-worms. “The moment they touch the light, they perish,” he said. Mr Reddy should not to fall prey to the “honey traps” laid by Mr Rao.
Asked why Mr Rao was talking about helping Rayalaseema, Mr Venkatesh said he was doing so as drawing Godavari waters to Srisailam was fraught with problems, political as well as geological and hydrological.
He said former chief ministers Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and N. Chandrababu Naidu as well as the Congress and the BJP were all duped by Mr Rao.
Kurnool legislator Hafeez Khan promptly denied Mr Venkatesh’s claims and said there was no move to create multiple capitals. All talk about the capital was mere conjecture, he said.
He said the YSRC was committed to regional balanced development and all its energies were channelised in that direction.
Rayalaseema was the most backward in terms of human development index and needed a booster dose to bring it on par with flourishing coastal districts, he said.
On Polavaram, he said there was no reason for any misgivings on completion of the project and Mr Reddy was keen on putting it on stream with least cost and maximum benefit to the people....