Visit an eyewash to mollify ruffled feelings of Rayalaseema people, say activists. As the proceedings started, activists expressed serious dissatisfaction over the absence of Chairman of the panel in its visit to Kurnool.

Members of Sivaramakrishnan Committee, the panel constituted by the Union government to identify the capital for Andhra Pradesh, were greeted with angry public activists from a cross section who were firm on making Kurnool as the capital of the new State here on Monday.

Panel members Aromar Revi, Jagan Shah and K.T. Ravindran, accompanied by a few advisors visited Kurnool and held a public hearing where they received representations from people. Before reaching the meeting hall, the members went round the city examining the infrastructure, various institutions and the General Hospital.

As the proceedings started, activists expressed serious dissatisfaction over the absence of Chairman of the panel in its visit to Kurnool. The angry participants vented their ire over the committee for choosing Kurnool in the last leg of their tour. The visit, many alleged, appeared to be an eye wash to mollify the ruffled feelings of Rayalaseema people.

YSRC MLAs led by B. Rajendranath Reddy sought clarification from the panel on who was the competent authority to take a decision about the location of the new Capital – the Centre, the State Government or the panel itself. He contended that while the committee members were touring different places in the State, the ruling party leaders, including Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu himself, made public their views that the capital was likely to be located between Guntur and Vijayawada.

Sribagh Pact

Pleading the case of Kurnool before the panel, Mr. Rajendranath Reddy and others said it was the first right of Kurnool to have the capital as the State was bifurcated and rolled back to 1956 status. Any government wedded to democratic principles should honour the Sribagh Pact which facilitated a prudent arrangement way back in 1937 suggesting capital in Rayalaseema and the High Court in Andhra.

It was the primary duty of the government to undo the historical injustice and avoid another public movement for separate Rayalaseema. The people who had bad experience with the capital in Hyderabad were anxious to know their next capital.

Many explained the advantages in locating the capital at Kurnool like availability of large chunk of land, abundant supply of water, good climatic conditions and cheaper labour.

The public hearing process was marred by slogan shouting in support of Rayalaseema for locating the capital. The police whisked away supporters of Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samithi who displayed placards and shouted slogans by standing in the chairs.

Earlier, the participants registered their protest with the officials for planning the interface in a congested meeting hall, which led to shifting of the venue to Sunayana Auditorium. Former Minister K.E. Prabhakar, YSRC MLAs S.V. Mohan Reddy, Ijaiah, Mani Gandhi, Gouru Charita and others represented to the panel. TDP MLAs planned to meet the committee separately.