Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prefers Visakhapatnam as capital of the residual Andhra Pradesh, Vice-Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Marri Shashidhar Reddy revealed here on Friday.
He and Tribal Welfare Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo were discussing the issue some time ago (it may be recalled that Mr. Deo strongly advocates Visakhapatnam as capital) along with the Prime Minister and when Dr. Manmohan Singh was asked what city would be the best suited as capital of AP, he felt Visakhapatnam must be made capital, Mr. Shashidhar Reddy said. He and BJP national spokesman Prakash Javadekar were addressing members of the Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry after the organisation held a meeting with contestants to Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam constituency.
Mr. Reddy wanted the chamber and locals to make proper representation on Visakhapatnam as capital to the five-member expert committee formed by the Union Government with former Union Minister K. Sivaramakrishnan to decide on the capital for the residual AP. He also wanted all the concerned to ensure peaceful atmosphere of the city prevailed.
“AP has a great future and its long coastline will be of great help,” he said. He also noted that land prices in AP region have gone up and in Telangana it was showing a downward trend.
Mr. Shashidhar Reddy, whose son was born here, recalled his several visits to the city as Minister for Environment and its status as the most polluted city. If proper care was taken, Visakhapatnam would become a world class city, he felt.
Mr. Javadekar also expressed his appreciation for the city. “It is a pleasant city and looks completely different from other cities,” he said.
As many as one crore people registering themselves as new voters on March 9 indicated the great awareness among people about the elections and it was also a great boost to the democracy and indicative of progress of the nation, Mr. Javadekar said.