TDP, YSR Congress blame each other for Centre refusing to ‘recognise’ Amaravati.

 

HYDERABAD: Amaravati, the newly named capital of Andhra Pradesh, is missing from the new map of India that was released by the Survey of India on 2 November. This has kicked off a political storm in the state, with the Opposition TDP and the ruling YSR Congress blaming each other for the Centre refusing to recognise Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

The political map of India with states and Union Territories that was released, in the wake of the change of status of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from one state to two new Union Territories, failed to mention the capital of Andhra Pradesh, while all other states have their respective ones.

The earlier map of India released after 2014 mentioned Andhra Pradesh with Amaravati as its capital, but the latest map dropped the city’s name due to two reasons: one, the change of mind of newly elected government led by Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on continuing with the nomenclature of Amaravati as the capital of Andhra and, two, the fact that Hyderabad continues to be the combined capital of Andhra Pradesh till 2024.

Sources in the Survey of India told this newspaper that these two factors must have weighed with the maps division headquartered in New Delhi which is responsible for the political map of the country. Telangana has Hyderabad as its capital and so it is for Andhra Pradesh too for a period of 10 years from the date of Andhra Pradesh bifurcation from 2014, an official of Survey of India pointed out.

However, this hasn’t satisfied the Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh, who blamed the Jaganmohan Reddy government for failing to get a capital for the state of Andhra Pradesh. The main opposition TDP alleged that Chief Minister Jagan’s stubborn stand against Amaravati being capital of Andhra Pradesh was the sole reason for the Centre’s refusal to recognise the status of the new capital.

In fact, Amaravati is a small town with Buddhist monuments on the banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district. However, the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP government which came to power in 2014 chose the land between Vijayawada and Guntur which includes this Buddhist site and named it as Amaravati — a mega metropolis. An area spanning around 600 sq km was included in the limits of Amaravati city.

The TDP government has pooled up around 33,000 acres of fertile agricultural lands from farmers and prepared layout for Amaravati city. A consortium led by the Singapore government has been roped in to develop a mega city, with an estimated cost of around Rs one lakh crore over next 25 years. Prime Minster Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the city in October 2014.

TDP MLAs K. Atchennaidu and others who toured Amaravati limit on Wednesday blamed the Jagan government for failing to see that Andhra Pradesh has a capital in the map and wondered why a city that was launched through the hands of the Prime Minister couldn’t find its place in the Indian political map. “It shows that this YSR Congress government cares less for its capital city,” Atchennaidu said.

Even BJP’s Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister Sujana Chowdary, too, lashed out at the Jagan government for the omission of Amaravati from the country’s political map and wondered how a state without a capital can assert its identity. BJP’s state unit president Kanna Lakshminarayana also blamed the Jagan government for dropping of Amaravati city from India’s map.

On the other hand, YSR Congress senior leader and MLA Ambati Rambabu said the failure of the previous TDP government in issuing a notification recognising Amaravati as capital of Andhra Pradesh was the reason for the changes in the India map. “The Chandrababu Naidu government has spent around Rs 7,000 crore, but failed to notify Amaravati city, isn’t it a failure of the TDP government?” Rambabu asked.

Sources in the Andhra Pradesh government explained that the Jagan government’s move to constitute an official committee headed by retired bureaucrat G.N. Rao on the fate of Amaravati and its status as capital of Andhra Pradesh immediately after it came to power in May this year must be the reason for the Government of India’s decision not to recognise Amaravati as capital of AP.

“The officials’ panel will submit its report by December and then the government will take a decision on Amaravati and its status as the capital of AP. Only then, the Government of India will recognise this city in the India map,” a senior official in the general administration department told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

Till now, the Andhra Pradesh government has spent about Rs 9,000 crore of which Rs 2,500 crore was funded by the Centre and the rest is from the state funds and bank loans. With this money, the government built a temporary Assembly, makeshift Secretariat and 200 plus residential quarters for MLAs, MLCs and judges and IAS officials. Several other buildings are under construction at various stages.

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