Amravati villagers make Sankranti bonfire of reports on capital shift
Leaders of Joint Action Committee of Amaravati farmers threw the copies of the reports of G N Rao committee and Boston Consulting Group into the fire as a mark of protest against the government’s decision to shift the capital of Andhra Pradesh.Updated: Jan 14, 2020 22:50 IST
Sankranti, the biggest festival for the people of Andhra Pradesh, brought no cheers for the farmers of Amaravati, the state capital region, who have been fighting against the decision of the YSR Congress party government to shift the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam.
On Tuesday, when the people of other parts of the state were celebrating Bhogi, the first day of Sankranti festival, by arranging bonfires in the villages, the people of Amaravati registered their protest by throwing the copies of expert committee reports on capital shift into the fire and raising “Save Amaravati” slogans.
At a bonfire held at Benz Circle in Vijayawada, leaders of Joint Action Committee of Amaravati farmers threw the copies of the reports of G N Rao committee and Boston Consulting Group into the fire as a mark of protest.
Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Guntur MP Galla Jayadev and several leaders participated in the bonfire protest. A large number of women also participated in the protests. Similar protests were held in various villages of Amaravati.
The villagers also registered their protest by displaying “Save Amaravati-Save Andhra Pradesh” messages through their Rangoli (colourful patterns drawn on the ground using dry lime powder) designs, which is part of Sankranti tradition.
Following the innovative protest adopted by Tamil Nadu women groups using “Kolam” designs to convey anti-CAA and anti-NRC slogans, the womenfolk created colourful Rangoli patterns in front of their houses with “Save Amaravati” slogans.
S Bhavani, a software engineer from Hyderabad, said for the first time, there is no festive mood in the villages. “Sankranti is a big festival in this part and we used to celebrate it with a lot of gaiety. This year, we have tears in our eyes,” she said.
With the police relaxing prohibitory orders in Amaravati following intervention by the state high court, women in large numbers came on streets to offer Pongal (sweet rice made from freshly-arrived rice) to the village deities, praying them to see that the capital is not shifted from Amaravati.