New Delhi: Ahead of the special session of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday which will rule on a proposal to have three capitals, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday worked the media, giving 'exclusive interviews', to mount pressure on chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and warning of a flight of committed investment if the state government abandoned the project.
If the present government does not honour the agreements made to build a grand new capital at Amaravati, investors would lose confidence for future projects, said the former chief minister.
The three-day special session of the Assembly has been called to approve the report of a High-Powered Committee (HPC) which recommended “distributed capital functions” for the state: the executive at Visakhapatnam, the legislature at Amaravati and the judiciary at Kurnool.
In his interview with PTI, Chandrababu Naidu said there is "no logic" to the three capitals idea and called it only a ruse to carry out a “witchhunt” against the former Telugu Desam Party government.
“Does it makes sense to shift the capital when construction is at an advanced stage? An investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore has been committed, which has the potential to generate 50,000 jobs. About 130 institutions are to come up. All that will not happen if the capital is shifted,” Chandrababu Naidu warned.
Already several structures have come up—Secretariat, Assembly, courts, Raj Bhavan and DGP's office—Rs 10,000 crore has been spent on developing Amaravati. The construction of 5,000 quarters for ministers and senior officers is underway, and "everything" will be ready if the government spent another Rs 2,000-3,000 crore.
The former chief minister claimed that the decision to build the capital at Amaravati was based on the recommendations of the Sivaramakrishnan Committee constituted by the Centre before the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in 2014. He denied there were any “irregularities” in coming to that decision.
“If there were any irregularities, the government is free to act. Already eight months in power, why the government is not initiating any action? Instead of taking action, it is unnecessarily indulging in mudslinging,” he said.
Except for the interest of five crore people of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu said he does not have “any vested interest” in Amaravati. “As a politician, I have only one interest, that is development of the state.”
“(In 1996) I had prepared a Vision 2020 for combined Andhra Pradesh. Almost all of it has happened in Hyderabad. For new Andhra Pradesh, I prepared a Vision 2029-2050 envisaging Andhra as the number one state in the country by 2029 in all aspects like per capita income and growth. Now, this man (Jagan Reddy) has dashed all those hopes.”
Naidu rubbished the Jagan Mohan Reddy government's contention that Amaravati is being built on an area prone to floods. However, the National Green Tribunal has ruled that that's not the case and even the Supreme Court upheld its decision. ""Another lie the state government is spreading is about an IIT Chennai report purportedly stating that Amaravati was not a suitable place for a capital city. However, IIT Chennai has denied coming up with any such report," the TDP president said.
Asked about his political strategy to stall the government''s three capitals plan, the TDP president said: “We will work out a strategy. He (the CM) is having a majority in the Assembly, we are having a majority in the council. We have to work out how it is going to happen.”...