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Naidu's tour of Amaravati marred by farmers protest

Press Trust of India  |  Amaravati 

Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidus tour of Andhra Pradesh's capital city, Amaravati, on Thursday was marred by protests from farmers and also resulted in a fresh round of slugfest between the ruling YSR Congress and the main opposition party.

Naidu asked the government if it had the guts to relocate the state capital from Amaravati while state Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath hit back saying they would soon expose the "brazen corruption" of the previous government in the capital construction.

Rajendranath lashed out at Naidu saying the latter was only interested in real-estate development than building the state capital city.

Naidu, who is the leader of opposition in the state assembly, conducted a day-long tour of Amaravati to "exert pressure" on the government to undertake the capital development works but was greeted with protests by farmers who alleged the former betrayed them in the name of capital city development.

The former chief minister prostrated on the land at Uddandarayunipalem, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for Amaravati in October 2015, and offered a prayer.

The farmers, on the other hand, accused the former chief minister of doing nothing in five years of his tenure for the development of Amaravati, despite thousands of them giving away their fertile agricultural land.

The TDP too mobilized a set of farmers in its support, ostensibly in a show of strength, who wanted the incumbent YSRC government to complete Amaravati development as planned by Chandrababu Naidu.

A stone was hurled at Naidus bus, partly breaking a window, while footwear was also flung in the air.

"Why was a police lathi used as a missile at my bus," Naidu questioned.

Farmers put huge flex banners in black colour wanting to know from Naidu why he could not build one permanent structure in the capital in five years.

"You owe an apology for betraying us," they said.

The TDP cadres also carried placards, saying "We want Amaravati built here."

While Rs 17 crore was spent on refurbishing the Chief Ministers residence, zero was spent on the capital city, the TDP alleged.

Talking to reporters at the end of his tour, Naidu recalled how he developed Hyderabad and built Cyberabad into a bustling IT hub.

"I did not do that for my own sake. I did it for the state (then united AP). After the bifurcation, I wanted to build a world-class capital city and pooled 34,000 acres of land from the farmers for the purpose.

They (YSRC) are alleging that I planned Amaravati to benefit one particular caste. For which caste did I develop Hyderabad," he asked.

He wanted Amaravati to be a "peoples capital" with a cosmopolitan flavor.

Investors were running away from Andhra Pradesh because of the attitude of the current government, he alleged.

Hitting back, state Municipal minister Botsa Satyanarayana said more damage was done to the state in Naidu's five-year tenure than what the bifurcation had done.

"We have come to power only six months ago. What did he do in five years," Botsa questioned.

The minister noted that any city should develop on its own.

"There is no need to build a big city taking huge loans. Moreover, development can happen only through decentralization and not over concentration (in a particular place)," Rajendranath added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 28 2019. 21:15 IST
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