Naravaripalle village in the Chandragiri constituency, the native place of former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu, witnessed palpable tension with the ruling YSR Congress Party deciding to hold a public meeting on the importance of having three capitals.
Local MLA and Government Whip Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy chose this place apparently to send the message across to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) that the government would not be cowed down by a spate of demonstrations against the decentralisation move. The government, however, drew flak for mobilising resources at its disposal for holding a huge meeting.
Government Advisor Ajeya Kallam, who listed the events that made the government think of decentralisation, accused the previous regime of resorting to economic indiscipline and impropriety in land allocation, thus landing the State in mess. He wondered why the agitating farmers were worried only about land value and not remunerative price. He charged Mr. Naidu with claiming credit for the development of Hi-Tec City in Hyderabad, though it was conceived by his predecessors.
“We have already seen the ill-effects of concentrating all facilities in the same region and hence the decision,” he said. Citing the Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu examples, he brushed aside at one go both arguments — central location of Amaravati and vulnerability of coastal Vizag to natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.
Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu said the government would not go back on its decision on three capitals, though it might get delayed due to procedural hassles.
Advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy flayed Mr. Naidu for keeping his people in the dark. In sharp contrast, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, strove for the uplift of the downtrodden.
‘No political agenda’
Tirupati MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy said Rayalaseema got its recognition only after YSR became Chief Minister. Mr. Naidu had neglected the region though he hailed from it, he added.
Clarifying that his meeting was not politically motivated, Mr. Bhaskar Reddy said he only intended to reach out to every corner of his constituency.
Deputy Chief Minister K. Narayanaswamy, Member of Parliament (Chittoor) N. Reddeppa, legislators B. Madhusudhan Reddy (Srikalahasti), Dwarakanatha Reddy (Thamballapalle), Venkate Gowda (Palamaner), and A. Srinivasulu (Chittoor) spoke.