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Tamil Nadu is now exploring alternative capitals idea. This could be the reason

With Andhra Pradesh’s decision for three capitals already turning out to be a bitter decision post the bifurcation blow, discussions are underway in Tamil Nadu for a second capital, apparently. But why did all of this resurface now? 
 
Given that elections are a year away, some political leaders in the state are raising the issue of decentralising Chennai and shifting some of the capital functions to Tiruchy. The capital shifting idea in Tamil Nadu was first mooted in 1983 by the then chief minister M.G. Ramachandran (fondly remembered as MGR). 
 
Following his demise, the plan was put into cold storage. Successive governments seemed disinterested with the idea and hence, never raked it up. However, some of the leaders and experts now believe that there is no harm in developing alternative capitals for large states such as Tamil Nadu. 
 
“Instead of calling it the second capital, let us call the project Cities Sharing Capital Functions (CSCF). CSCF is a geographical connect -- having people, government, occupation and socio-cultural activities in an accessible location within regions of the State,” say some experts.
 
They believe that shifting some of the capital functions will reduce migration to Chennai, where the land costs are skyrocketing. Many believe that the idea of a State having alternative capitals for political, commercial and administration purposes like how Andhra Pradesh has, will benefit Tamil Nadu. 
 
After expanding for decades and with all the haphazard development activities at present in Chennai, the State’s people desperately need another ‘magnet’. Developing another capital city within reasonable distance from Tiruchy on the banks of Cauvery river is not a bad idea, say some.
 
Alternative capitals must not be planned keeping in mind only the real estate interests of the region. The pandemic crisis is a warning of why migration to just one place is dangerous, believe some experts. Political observers say that if any proposal for a second capital, both Dravidian majors are unlikely to oppose it considering the political ramifications.
 
However, there are also rumours in the political corridors of South India that this idea of raking up alternative capitals for Tamil Nadu could be BJP’s move to enter the South, which hasn’t been possible so far. But, why is the BJP so interested in Tamil Nadu now?
 
The reason is: By unnecessarily raking up the issue for a large state like Tamil Nadu, there can be enough strife among people. That could create a political vacuum due to infighting among the people of the state, just like how AP fell for the trick. Eventually, that would also mean weakening Tamil Nadu economically. 
 
But, why all this and what does the BJP gain? The saffron party hasn’t been able to push its “religion-driven” agenda in the South, given that this part of India is driven by regional politics and demography. So, driving the alternative capitals idea into the people could be its way, not only to foray into the state but also weaken the South (because TN is the strongest economically and culturally too). 
 
Additionally, South India contributes to around 50% of India’s GDP. So, by weakening a key state like the Tamil Nadu, BJP not only gains to weaken it politically and economically but also suppress the South’s dominance over national politics. Well, if this speculation turns out to be true, then the spirit of Cooperative Federalism, the current BJP government claims, seems to be dying in a divisive India. 
 

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