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Roundup: Media complicating capital shift!

Roundup: Media complicating capital shift!

While the farmers of Amaravati, the present capital region of Andhra Pradesh, have been agitating for the last 20 days over the proposed shifting of administrative capital to Visakhapatnam as suggested by expert committees and consultancy groups, it has been a section of media that is complicating the issue with every passing day.

On Monday, two major Telugu dailies Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy raised two different issues that would further foment the agitation in Amaravati.

Eenadu carried a story on Kondaveetivagu lift irrigation scheme. The scheme, constructed at a cost of Rs 237 crore by the previous Telugu Desam Party government was aimed at diverting surplus waters from Kondaveetivagu into Krishna river in the event of floods, so that it would prevent any possibility of submergence of the capital region.

The report in Eenadu indicated that if the capital is shifted from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam, the entire project would become redundant and huge money would go down the drain.

Similarly, Andhra Jyothy carried a flyer story that the Jagan government would have to pay a compensation of Rs 72,000 crore to farmers for dumping the land pooling agreement, if the capital is shifted from Amaravati.

The report cited clauses and sections in the development agreement signed between the farmers and the AP Capital Region Development Authority.

The agitation by the farmers continued to dominate the front pages of these two anti-establishment dailies.

Andhra Jyothy highlighted the appeal by the farmers to Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy, apart from linking the death of a farmer to the proposed capital shift. The daily also sought to create an impression that even people of Rayalaseema were opposed to the capital shift to Visakhapatnam.

On the other hand, Sakshi daily has ignored the agitation by farmers, but highlighted the protests against the alleged “anti-Dalit” comments made by Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu while criticizing Planning Department secretary Vijay Kumar. It also carried a front page report on retired IAS officer G N Rao’s rebuttal to Naidu’s criticism of his panel.

As is its policy, Sakshi’s banner story has been a positive one for Jagan government; it is on Amma Vodi scheme scheduled to be launched on January 9. The report says the scheme would provide a strong assurance to the poor students going to schools.

The violent attacks on students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi by some miscreants also figured prominently in the front pages of the Telugu dailies.

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