Tirupati: Leaders of all parties, barring Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), came on a common platform to declare their support to Amaravati farmers whose agitation against the move for trifurcation of state capital completed two years on Friday.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, CPI leader K. Narayana, YSRCP’s rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju and leaders of Congress, Jana Sena, BJP and other parties shared the platform at a public meeting organised by Amaravati farmers in the temple town.
Large number of people participated in the meeting to show solidarity with the farmers while the leaders of all the opposition parties assured to stand by them.
The public meeting, which marked the culmination of Amaravati to Tirupati ‘Mahapadyatra’ by Amaravati farmers and women, also coincided with the completion of two years since the announcement by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to develop three state capitals.
Demanding that Amaravati be developed as the only state capital as decided by the previous TDP government, farmers and women undertook the foot march, which concluded at Tirupati on December 14.
As the district administration of Chittoor denied permission to farmers to hold the public meeting, the farmers moved the High Court, which gave conditional permission for the meeting.
Setting aside their differences, leaders of various parties and groups came on the common platform to assure Amaravati farmers that they will continue to back their agitation. They said the state’s future will be bright only if Amaravati is developed as the only state capital. They made it clear that nobody can shift the state capital from Amaravati and that the sacrifices of farmers will not go in vain.
Some farmers broke down while addressing the public meeting. They said they gave their lands for development of the state capital but the YSRCP government threw them on the streets by deciding to develop three state capitals.
Chandrababu Naidu, who had prepared the vision of Amaravati as a world-class city, slammed Jagan Mohan Reddy for what he called destroying the future of the state and its people.
He wondered how the state capital can be shifted when the foundation was laid by the Prime Minister and the Centre also gave Rs 2,500 crore for capital works and also extended certain exemptions to farmers, who had given 33,000 acres of land.
Alleging that the YSRCP government gave a caste colour to the state capital, he said Jagan Mohan Reddy has no vision. He urged the Chief Minister to stop the false propaganda against Amaravati.
Naidu claimed that Amaravati lands can help the state mobilise financial resources. “Don’t spend even a rupee in Amaravati but don’t destroy this economic asset for the future of the state and its people,” he told Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Stating that Amaravati is the most suitable location for the state capital, the TDP chief said while all regions should develop, the state capital should remain in Amaravati. He exuded confidence that ultimately Amaravati will emerge victorious in this battle for justice.
Jana Sena leader Ramdas Chowdary told the public meeting that party founder and actor Pawan Kalyan has sent a message to the meeting that Amaravati will remain as the state capital.
Actor Shivaji slammed the YSRCP government for its blunders. He pointed out that except leaders of YSRCP, all have come on the common platform.
Congress leaders Tulsi Reddy and Mastan Vali, BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana and others addressed the meeting and expressed their full support to the movement by Amaravati farmers.
CPI-M leader P. Madhu stayed away from public meeting saying he can’t share the dais with BJP leaders. He, however, said his party would continue its support to the just cause of Amaravati farmers.