After the TDP and the JSP, there is division of opinion in the BJP too over the proposal of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to make Visakhapatnam the Executive capital of the State.
Senior BJP leader and former MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju on Sunday said he favoured the move to develop Visakhapatnam as the Executive capital.
“The city has everything. From the beginning, I have been saying that the city is the ideal choice,” he told reporters who met him, and blamed former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for committing a blunder by deciding to develop Amaravati.
Earlier, TDP MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao had supported the move to make Visakhapatnam the Executive capital. On Saturday, JSP’s lone MLA Rapaka Varaprasad said he was in favour of three capitals.
Mr. Raju, while backing Amaravati as Legislative capital, opposed the move to make Kurnool the Judicial capital. “Just by shifting the High Court one cannot give the capital tag to the city located in Rayalaseema,” Mr. Raju observed.
“To create two lakh square feet space with air-conditioning facility and provide other amenities in Visakhapatnam will require just ₹2,000 crore. To start operations, Rushikonda area has a few vacant buildings in the IT Special Economic Zone. The area also has two super-structures of Millennium Tower built by the government,” Mr. Raju pointed out.
Making it clear that it was his personal opinion, Mr. Raju said the graphics shown by Mr. Naidu on Amaravati was a “tactical blunder.”
“I am happy that Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy is undoing the wrong by floating the idea considering the infrastructure available in Visakhapatnam,” he said.
The Government of India had opined that ₹5,000 crore would be needed to create a Capital in Amaravati, he claimed.
Mr. Naidu had created a hype and envisaged its long-term development under self-finance mode with a massive investment of ₹1 lakh crore knowing well that the coffers were empty, he alleged.
A luxurious capital could be created with ₹5,000 crore, Mr. Raju said, and wondered how a State with resource constraint could think of investing ₹1 lakh crore at a place where the construction cost was high due to loose soil.
On reports submitted by the expert committees led by former IAS officer G.N. Rao and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the BJP leader said, “Even if more committees are constituted, they will certainly back the demand for making Visakhapatnam the Capital.”