On 22 October 2015, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the capital city of Amaravati.
Chandrababu Naidu had envisioned Amaravati as the people’s capital right from its inception and wanted to build Amaravati as one of the most modern, sustainable capital cities in the world. Contrary to the commonly seen land acquisition schemes all over India, the government strategized a unique land pooling scheme and 28,538 farmers of the State came forward and gave 34,395.50 acres for the construction. Under this scheme, when the state government acquired land from the farmers, a part of the developed land ranging between 900 and 1,700 square yards for every acre is given back to the farmer. The prestigious London School of Economics took this up as a case study.
Interestingly, Jagan Mohan Reddy in the year 2014 had supported Amaravati as the state capital in the assembly and after assuming power, he made a complete reversal and introduced the three-capital proposal in the December of 2019. As per Jagan Reddy’s proposal the present capital, Amaravati would just serve as the Legislative Capital, Visakhapatnam would be made the Executive Capital, and Kurnool would be made the Judicial Capital.
As part of his vendetta politics, Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government had passed the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020 in the Assembly. While TDP, against this undemocratic agenda, demanded in the Legislative Council for these bills to be referred to a select committee for further deliberation, Jagan Mohan Reddy, miffed with these, decided to dissolve the Legislative Council of the State.
The Rajadhani Rythu Parirakshana Samithi and other individual farmers have approached the High Court and filed petitions against the Governor’s approval to bills which are currently being virtually heard by the High Court.
The YSRCP government had utilized all its police forces to suppress the voices of farmers who were protesting relentlessly over the last 500 days. The AP State Police frightened the protestors and no sympathy has been shown towards women and children. The police had brutally beaten women protestors and made derogatory comments against them. Till now, 92 farmers lost their lives in their fight for the capital. More than 2,500 illegal cases were filed against farmer protestors.
Amid the COVID pandemic situation and accessing the shortage of financial resources with the State Government, when it is hard to build one capital, the construction of three capital turns as a question mark. Further, the Amaravati capital issue is not related to just farmers of 29 villages, it is about the future of Andhra Pradesh.