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AP divided on capital shifting, clamour from all regions

The proposal to shift Andhra Pradesh capital from Amaravati has triggered fresh demands from various districts for locating the new capital in their respective regions. It has also brought about a wedge among politicians within all parties, with leaders divided into regional lines over the capital issue.
 
Since chief minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy announced in the assembly on December 17 his three capital idea — administrative capital in Vizag, judicial capital in Kurnool and existing capital city of Amaravati to host assembly sessions — local politicians cutting across party lines have come up with their own set of demands. People, including students, have also hit the streets — some for retaining Amaravati and others for shifting it to their area. 
 
The YSRCP government has had to deploy hundreds of cops to quell clashes triggered by farmer protests. In the last 26 days, the demand for capital city has come in from Kurnool, Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur, Prakasam, Nellore and Visakhapatnam districts. On the regional front, local leaders want the capital city to be located in Rayalaseema, north coastal Andhra and south coastal Andhra respectively.
 
The state had witnessed a similar demand six years ago during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Some leaders want another bifurcation of the state to carve out what they call Greater Rayalaseema. 
 
Leaders from Rayalaseema were the first to renew their demand for the capital city. Former legislator Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy, who recently joined the BJP, has renewed his demand for the state capital in Kurnool (Rayalaseema). “The capital should be in Rayalaseema. The government has given head (administrative capital) to Visakhapatnam, torso to Amaravati and tail to Rayalaseema,” he said.

Rajya Sabha MP T.G. Venkatesh wants high court apart from Secretariat (administrative capital) in the region. P.V. Sidda Reddy, YSRCP legislator from Kadiri, has demanded that Rayalaseema should be given judicial as well as legislative capital cities. While former minister and TDP leader B. Akhila Priya wants the capital to be shifted to Rayalaseema if the government was not in favour of Amaravati.
 
Former MP Chinta Mohan is in favour of Tirupati as the state capital while ex-minister Ganta Srinivas Rao supports shifting of capital to Visakhapatnam. Former MP and TDP leader J.C. Diwakar Reddy has renewed his demand for Greater Rayalaseema in case of shifting of capital from Amaravati.
 
Assembly speaker Tammineni Sitaram supported the proposal for three capital cities saying that it would arrest the demand for separate states. Earlier, he had described Amaravati as a desert. While the opposition blames the ruling YSRCP for the capital trouble across the state, the ruling YSRCP has blamed the TDP for the “political conspiracy”. 
 
However, the situation on ground is different. People across different segments are opposing the government’s decision of shifting the capital. Many more are expected to join the agitation. 

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