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AP CM Firm On Vijayawada, Wants Panel To Give A Second Report

AP CM Firm On Vijayawada, Wants Panel To Give A Second Report

Seething with anger, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu deputed his close aides to negotiate with the KC Sivaramakrishnan Committee for a second capital report, while deciding to convene an emergency cabinet meeting on September 1 to discuss the contentious issue.

His aides privately said Naidu will choose Vijayawada­-Guntur region, even if it requires rejecting all options suggested by the committee.

A day after the committee identified Martur-Vinukonda-Donakonda region as ideal for the location of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, an angry Naidu refused to take ques tions on the suggestions made in the report.

“I did not receive any report and I cannot respond on this issue. One media report says Vinukonda, while another talks about Donakonda. So which one is right?,“ snapped Naidu at his chambers in the assembly .

Unable to digest the sharp remarks made by the committee against AP government's preference for Vijayawada­-Guntur region, the CM is learnt to have asked his ministers to speak to the Sivaramakrishnan Committee members and convince them to come up with another report with no negative remarks against Vijayawada­-Guntur region.

“The committee did not turn down Vijayawada, but has only made some comments on ecology of the region. Who said we will destroy agriculture or ecology by constructing a capital?“ asked an equally angry municipal minister P Narayana. The minister is also heading the capital advisory committee appointed by the state government.

Separately , ministers and ruling party MLAs were stunned with the capital report which they said had dashed their hopes on the new capital. Sources said that sev eral MLAs and TDP leaders have already invested heavily on land in and around Vijayawada and Guntur, resulting in steep rise in real estate prices from Rs 50 lakh per acre to Rs 10 crore in just three months.

In an informal meeting with ministers, Naidu assured that there would be no change in the capital location and directed them not to share their views with media as it might send wrong signals to people of other regions. He is learnt to have assured them that the Vijayawada ­ Guntur region would become the capital zone, even if the Sivaramakrishnan Committee opposes it. Vijaywada MP Kesineni Nani and Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana, along with other MLAs belonging to Krishna district, also met the chief minister in the assembly.

“The state government has the power to decide its capital. The committee is meant to suggest different options on the new capital's location. Our government will take a final call on this. Nobody can force us to set up a capital in the forest,“ declared finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu.

TDP legislators and district leaders were taken aback with the committee's report and are nervous as many of them invested heavily on land in and around Vijayawada.

One after another, many of them met Naidu in his chambers and pleaded with him to be firm on making Vijayawada-Guntur zone the new capital.

Some TDP leaders even contacted Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu for more information on the committee's report.

Source: TimesOfIndia

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