TDP leaders under house arrest as Jagan cabinet meets to seal capital plan
Sensing trouble, senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders have been put under house arrest and a heavy police bandobast is in place in Amaravati to quell any protest as the Jagan Reddy cabinet, scheduled to meet tomorrow, is expected to approve the decision to move the administrative capital of the state to Visakhapatnam.
The entire capital region has been on the boil ever since the chief minister declared in the assembly last week the creation of three capitals for the state – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.
On Thursday, senior TDP leaders Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani and MLC Buddha Venkanna, who were proceeding to Amaravati to participate in the “Maha Dharna” organised by the farmers of 29 villages against the shifting of capital, were put under house arrest.
Kesineni Nani told reporters that the TDP MPs would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek his intervention over the issue.
The TDP has also called for a complete shutdown in the state on December 28 if the cabinet decides to go ahead with its decision to move the present capital. An expert committee report had recommended the formation of three capitals for Andhra.
“We shall wait for the cabinet decision. If it goes ahead with its plan to shift the executive capital to Visakhapatnam, we shall call for a state shutdown on Saturday,” senior TDP leader and former minister Prathipati Pulla Rao said.
As precaution, security in the entire capital region has been tightened and the police are not allowing outsiders to enter Amaravati.
The Thullur police issued a circular to all the villagers not to allow any new person into the villages and resort to any violent agitation resulting in a law and order situation. “Strict action would be taken against the villagers, if they are found to give shelter to any outsider,” Thullur police inspector Srihari Rao said.
The farmers of the capital region, who have formed into a joint action committee in the name of Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi (Committee to safeguard Amaravati), shifted their dharna camp from Mandadam village (near secretariat) to Uddandarayunipalem village, where the Prime Minister had laid foundation stone for the capital city on October 23, 2015.
“We shall not indulge in any violence, but will stage a peaceful demonstration. But, we shall step up the agitation, if the cabinet goes ahead with the three capitals decision,” JAC leader K Anil Kumar said.
The JAC leaders submitted a memorandum to state home minister M Sucharita and also to Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan, requesting that the executive capital be retained at Amaravati.
Meanwhile, YSRCP general secretary and parliamentary party leader V Vijay Sai Reddy told reporters that the shifting of capital from Amaravati to Vijayawada was final and the cabinet would approve the same on Friday. “In the coming days, all the administrative works will commence from Visakhapatnam,” he said.
He said a massive reception has been planned to welcome the chief minister who would be in Visakhapatnam on December 28 to participate in Visakha Utsav and lay foundation stone for various developmental works worth Rs 1,290 crore.
“It will be a historic welcome. A human chain will be organised for a length of 24 km from Visakhapatnam airport to give guard of honour for the chief minister. The entire programme will last three hours,” he said.