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Chandrababu’s open challenge to Jagan on 3 Capitals Issue

Telugu Desam Party president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu challenged Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to hold a referendum on the creation of three capitals for the state.
 
“Let us go to people and put forth our respective stands on Amaravati. If the people vote for your three capitals plan, I will quit politics forever,” the former chief minister said while addressing Jana Bheri, a huge rally of farmers of Amaravati.
 
The rally was conducted by Amaravati Joint Action Committee at Rayapudi village on the completion of one year of their agitation against the Jagan government’s decision to form three capitals. It was on December 17 last year that the chief minister announced in the assembly his plan to create three capitals for the state – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.
 
More than 24,000 farmers belonging to 29 villages who had surrendered nearly 34,000 acres of land for the construction of world-class capital at Amaravati, have been agitating in protest against the Jagan government’s decision since then.
 
“Amaravati was strategically chosen as the state capital as it is equidistant from all parts of the state. It has six districts and 12 parliamentary constituencies on one side and another six districts and 13 parliamentary constituencies on the other side,” he said.
 
Naidu reminded that even several media surveys had revealed that 80 per cent of the respondents had preferred Amaravati as the state capital. He said more than Rs. 10,000 crore had already been spent on the creation of basic infrastructure in the capital city. In the years to come, Amaravati would have the potential to create wealth worth Rs. 1-2 lakh crore, he said.
 
“Unfortunately, the chief minister is hell-bent on destroying Amaravati as well as the state. His ministers and MLAs are describing it as a burial ground and a desert. No sane person will decide to shift capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam,” the former chief minister said.
 
He recalled how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had brought soil from the Parliament and water from the Yamuna river while laying the foundation stone for Amaravati and wished it would emerge as a great capital city.
 
He said though he had planned to develop Andhra Pradesh into the top state in the country, the people had believed Jagan’s words and voted for the YSRC in a sort of mass hysteria. “Now, all sections of the society are paying a heavy price for trusting Jagan, who has been unleashing a reign of terror on people,” he said.
 
Several leaders from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jana Sena, the CPI and the CPI (M) attended the rally and addressed the gathering.
 
Earlier, Naidu visited Uddandarayunipalem village where PM Modi had laid the foundation stone for the capital. He prostrated before the heap of soil at the venue and paid obeisance to Yagashala (mandap where a havan was conducted at the time of foundation stone laying on October 22, 2015).
 
The police made heavy security arrangements all across Amaravati to prevent entry of outsiders to attend the public meeting. Several leaders of TDP and other parties were put under house arrest in various districts or taken into preventive custody when they tried to go to Amaravati to attend the rally.

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