Rally in support of 3 capitals in Tirupati ahead of Amaravati farmers’ meet

Tirupati: A day before the public meeting by Amaravati farmers, a huge rally was organsised here on Thursday to support the proposal of three state capitals.

Hundreds of people participated in the huge rally organised by Rayalaseema Intellectual Forum to mobilise support for its proposed public meeting.

The Forum is backing the state government’s decision to create three capitals – Amaravati, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam.

A large number of students from various colleges participated in the rally which passed through various parts of the temple town.

Raising slogans of “we want justice”, the participants were carrying a banner declaring support for decentralisation of development.

However, some youth participating in the rally were not clear about its purpose. They said Amaravati should be retained as the only state capital.

The rally came a day before the public meeting by farmers of Amaravati, opposing three capitals and demanding that Amaravati be continued as the only state capital. The public meeting coincides with the completion of two years after the announcement by Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to develop three state capitals.

As announced by the chief minister, Kurnool in Rayalaseema region will be developed as the judicial capital and Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra will be developed as administrative capital while Amaravati will be retained only as the legislative capital.

For two years, farmers of 29 villages of Amaravati region, who had given 33,000 acres of land for the development of the state capital, have been staging protests against the trifurcation.

Demanding that Amaravati be retained as the only capital, the farmers and women of Amaravati undertook a “Mahapadyatra” from Amaravati to Tirupati. The temple town is part Chittoor district in Rayalaseema region.

Titled “court to temple” the “Mahapadyatra” began near Andhra Pradesh High Court at Amaravati on November 1. It passed through various towns and villages in Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor districts and concluded at Tirupati on December 14.

After covering 450 km in 44 days, the “Mahapadyatra” ended at Alipiri, the foothills of Sri Venkateswara temple.

Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee wanted to organise the public meeting at the end of “Mahapadyatra” but Chittoor district police denied the permission on the ground that this could create law and order problems due to regional sentiments.

However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday allowed them to organise the public meeting on December 17.

The court gave permission for the meeting subject to certain conditions. The organisers were directed to hold the meeting from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and follow Covid-19 protocol.

Rayalaseema Hakkula Sadhana Samithi, a group fighting for the rights of Rayalaseema region, wanted to organise a public meeting the same day but the court made it clear that two meeting can not be allowed on the same day and suggested it to hold the meeting on some other day.