Andhra Pradesh Minister for Panchayat Raj and Mines Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy has announced that the State government is inclined to returning the land pooled in excess by the erstwhile Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime from the farmers of Amaravati for constructing a mega capital.
Addressing press persons at his residence here on Friday, he wondered why a capital required 33,000 acres, when Hyderabad had a mere 200 or so acres to house the Assembly and Secretariat buildings. The proposal was nothing new as Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy had promised the farmers much before the elections that he would return their lands after coming to power. “All the lands that the TDP got was not voluntarily pooled, but forcibly acquired from gullible farmers for the mega capital city it envisaged. Such farmers who want their land will be given”.
Mr. Reddy brushed aside the spate of agitations rocking the capital region as the handiwork of the TDP and not the real farmers or land owners. “The agitation was clearly orchestrated by the TDP and all those staging demonstration are party workers. It is not the voice of the people,” he insisted.
Moreover, such huge land pool in Amaravati was unnecessary when the government contemplated spreading the capital in three regions, such as legislative, executive and judicial capitals in Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool respectively. He also indicated that the Centre had no role in the issue, as choosing the capital was the sole prerogative of the State government.
Later, he formally received Visakha Sarada Peetam junior pontiff Sri Swatmanandendra Saraswati at his residence.