Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy (Photo Credit: PTI)
The Centre on Tuesday said that it is the prerogative of the state government to decide on its capital, which many believe is a shot in the arm for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's plan for a three-city capital. Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of state for Home, while replying to a question from Telugu Desam Party MP Jayadev Galla said, "It is for each state to decide on the capital within its territory".
Telugu Desam Party MP from Guntur, Galla Jayadev raised a question in Lok Sabha on whether the Centre had taken note of the state government's decision to have three capitals and whether it would advise the state not to resort to such decisions. The three-city plan, the parliamentarian from Guntur had claimed in his question, would "not only vitiate the investment climate but will also be a great loss to thousands of farmers who have given their land for construction of new capital Amaravati". He had also asked how the three-city plan was "likely to help the state and its people".
In a written reply that ruled out any intervention by the Centre, Rai said: "Recently media reports have appeared indicating the State Government's decision to create three capitals for the State of Andhra Pradesh. It is for each State to decide its capital within its territory.''
Earlier, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu urged Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy not to shift the state capital from Amaravati, warning that about Rs 50,000 crore committed investment could be withdrawn and also make farmers suffer.
Denying any "irregularities" in the decision making for Amaravati as capital during his tenure, Naidu asserted he does not have any "vested interest" in Amaravati, saying his party is fighting to control further damage of the state.
Alleging that Andhra Pradesh is on “the path of destruction”, Naidu earlier said if the present government—which is already in debt—does not honour the agreements, it will dent the image of the state and investors will lose confidence for future investment.
The YSRCP government, which took over in May last year, has alleged irregularities by the previous Naidu government in awarding contracts and in allotting prime lands to those close to the then chief minister.
In an exclusive interview to PTI from Vijayawada, Naidu—a former chief minister of new Andhra Pradesh and also the undivided state—said there is “no logic” in having three capitals and called the government’s proposed plan just a “witch hunt” against the Telugu Desam Party(TDP).
“Does it makes sense to shift the capital when the construction is almost at an advanced stage? An investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore has been committed that has potential to generate 50,000 jobs in the state. About 130 institutes from hospitals to education hub were to come up. All this will not happen if the capital is shifted,” Naidu said.