Making a formal announcement, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday named the Vijayawada region as the new capital of the state.
Naidu expressed confidence that the Modi government “extends all support to build a capital that becomes a crucial centre for the nation’s economy.”
A coastal city, Vijaywada has a population of about a million, and thrives on the banks of the river Krishna.
Though Kurnool and Prakasam were the other two contenders, the central position and easy connectivity of Vijayawada went in its favour.
A decision on Vijayawada was taken by the state cabinet on September 1. Though, a Centre-appointed Sivaramakrishnan committee submitted its report last week reportedly suggesting against Vijayawada as the capital for lack of land and high cost of acquisition of fertile lands, Naidu persisted on his choice.
Last month, Naidu even announced Vijayawada as the ad hoc capital, where a part of the official machinery would be moved from Hyderabad, which the state is sharing as joint capital with Telangana for 10 years.
HT had reported on August 18 that regardless of demands in the state, especially from Rayalaseema and the report’s suggestions, Naidu was firm on Vijayawada.
“There are many demands. Even I would like the capital in Kuppam, my constituency where land is available in plenty. Vijayawada region is chosen for its centrality but the development of the state would be decentralised,” Naidu stated.
However, some part of selection was influenced by the caste factor and pressure of industrialists from Coastal region. Vijayawada is dominated by the Kamma caste, to which Naidu belongs.