The Jagan Reddy led YSCRP and Naidu led TDP have got involved in a bitter war of words following the omission of Amaravati as the Andhra Pradesh capital in the new map of India released by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir into separate Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. It must be noted here that the map mentions the capital city of all states, except Andhra Pradesh. The map depicts Hyderabad as the joint capital of the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
TDP spokesperson, Varla Ramaiah hit out at the ruling YSRCP government, alleging that the state government has decided to relocate the capital from Amaravati to some other location. The YSCRP, on the other hand, has blamed the TDP for the failure of Amaravati to figure on India’s map. YSCRP lawmaker, Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, who represents Mangalagiri constituency in Amaravati stated that it was unfortunate how Andhra Pradesh has figured on India’s map without any state capital.
The issue of Amaravati has already been a matter of heated political battle between the YSCRP and the TDP. Amaravati was the dream project of the previous Andra CM Chandrababu Naidu. Throughout his tenure, the TDP supremo tried hard-selling Amravati as an ideal capital city that he claimed to be the pride of Andhra people and an engine of growth. The first indications of the Amaravati project officially falling apart came recently with the Jagan Reddy government setting up a five-member committee, to review Amaravati and other developmental plans and suggest a comprehensive strategy to ensure all-round development of the state. The move came after the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), withdrew from the Amaravati project.
Andhra CM Jagan Reddy has made it clear that Amaravati, the foundation stone of which was laid by PM Modi in 2015, would not be his priority. He even demolished the Rs 9 crore conference hall that was built by Naidu when he came to power. The Jagan Reddy regime also went on to name retired bureaucrat G N Rao as the head of the expert committee to work out a strategy for urban planning and relocation of the capital city. TDP spokesperson, Ramaiah has now alleged that Reddy has indicated his plans to the Centre. He said, “That could be the reason why Amaravati was not mentioned in the revised map.” Referring to Andhra CM Jagan Reddy’s meeting with PM Modi last month, Ramaiah further said that Reddy sought liberal central assistance for several projects, but not for the development of Amaravati. He stated, “It indicates Jagan has dumped Amaravati.”
The YSCRP continues to blame the previous TDP regime for the fate that Amaravati has met. Alla Ramakrishna Reddy said that except for a few temporary structures, the Naidu government did not develop a single permanent structure in the city. He added, “What is worse, his government had not even issued a gazette notification declaring Amaravati as the capital city.” Andhra Pradesh minister Botsa Satyanarayana also said that no official gazette notification was issued to the effect that Amaravati is the state capital.
Amidst the ongoing political chaos, it is now clear that the dream of a world-class capital in the form of Amaravati that Naidu was trying to hard-sell throughout his tenure has died even before it came to life. With its omission in the map released by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, it can be reasonably concluded that the Amaravati project has officially failed. For quite some time, there were apprehensions and doubts about the project. In September last year, it was reported that nothing had been built in Amravati. Even basic amenities such as drainage and power lines were yet to be put in place. The Amaravati project never really took off even under the Naidu regime and the Jagan Reddy government had shown its reluctance to carry it further from the word go. Now the ongoing political battle shows that Andhra’s hopes of a world-class capital city have been dashed abruptly.