The discussion on the three capitals is a wasteful exercise and it is being organised to misguide people and stoking regional passions, alleged former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA and party Visakhapatnam (Urban) president Palla Srinivasa Rao.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, he said, “If the YSR Congress Party is really keen on establishing three capitals, why did its MP Vijaya Sai Reddy introduce a private Bill in the upper house of Parliament on August 5?.”
Introducing the Bill, Mr. Vijaya Sai had asked for a Constitutional amendment, seeking that the Union Government give the authority to the State government or the Assembly to decide on the capital. “Which indicates that the YSR Congress Party knows that once a capital is decided, it cannot be shifted or bifurcated into two or three capitals. Then why this discussion or conducting roundtables on the subject?,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao questioned. It is nothing but to misguide and divert the attention of the people, he alleged.
The TDP leader said that in November 2021, the State government had already repealed the two laws that were passed for the creation of the three capitals and the government had also assured the AP High Court that it will not change the capital and continue with Amaravati.
He went ahead to question the State government on what they had done for the North Andhra region in the last three-and-a-half years of governance.
The only thing that the government has done is sell its 10.4% stake to a private company in Gangavaram Port. Moreover, even the sale proceeds were not diverted back to the fishermen of the region who have been suffering for years, he alleged.
The government has also not taken a tough stand on the 100% strategic sale of Viskahapatnam Steel Plant. “Despite, several requests by the unions and employees it has not led an all-party delegation to New Delhi. Over 8,000 project displaced people are still waiting for their compensation,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.
He found fault with the State government for mortgaging the government assets in Visakhapatnam.
“On one hand, the YSRCP talks of development of Visakhapatnam and the region and on the other hand they are mortgaging the assets to generate funds for their welfare schemes. So far about 13 assets belonging to the government have been mortgaged for raising around ₹25,000 crores and another 11 assets are in the pipeline,” he alleged.
The TDP leader alleged that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has a share in the Adani Data centre land deal. “TDP had given Adani 130 acres of land for a lease period of 99 years. The State government has sold the land at a rate of ₹1 crore per acre. Because of such pressure of commission and share in stakes companies like Franklin Templeton have moved out of Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad,” he alleged.
Despite Andhra Cricket Association being headquartered in Visakhapatnam, not a single person from North Andhra has found place in the association. Even cricketers such as Y. Venugopal Rao who played for the country has no place in it, he alleged.
He went ahead to say that erstwhile Visakhapatnam district was famous for its gemstones, especially the cat's eye, but now it has earned the notoriety of being the ‘ganja capital’ of the country.