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TDP chief Naidu asks Jagan Reddy not to shift capital from Amaravati

TDP chief Naidu asks Jagan Reddy not to shift capital from Amaravati
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New Delhi: Ahead of a special session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly called to decide on a proposal to have three capitals, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday urged Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy not to shift the state capital from Amaravati, warning that about Rs 50,000 crore committed investment could be withdrawn and also make farmers suffer.

Denying any "irregularities" in the decision making for Amaravati as capital during his tenure, Naidu asserted he does not have any "vested interest" in Amaravati, saying his party is fighting to control further damage of the state.

Alleging that Andhra Pradesh is on "the path of destruction", Naidu said if the present government -- which is already in debt -- does not honour the agreements, it will dent the image of the state and investors will lose confidence for future investment.

The YSRCP government, which took over in May last year, has alleged irregularities by the previous Naidu government in awarding contracts and in allotting prime lands to those close to the then chief minister.

On January 20, the three-day special winter session of the Assembly is scheduled to begin to approve the report of the High-Powered Committee (HPC) on "distributed capital functions". The chief minister wants to have executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.

In an exclusive interview to PTI from Vijayawada, Naidu -- a former chief minister of new Andhra Pradesh and also the undivided state -- said there is "no logic" in having three capitals and called the government's proposed plan just a "witch hunt" against the Telugu Desam Party(TDP).

"Does it makes sense to shift the capital when the construction is almost at an advanced stage? An investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore has been committed that has potential to generate 50,000 jobs in the state. About 130 institutes from hospitals to education hub were to come up. All this will not happen if the capital is shifted," Naidu said.

Already Rs 10,000 crore has been spent on developing Amaravati and many structures from the secretariat to assembly complexes, courts, Raj Bhavan and DGP office have come up. The construction of 5,000 quarters for ministers and senior officers is underway, he said, adding everything will be ready in Amaravati if the government spends another Rs 2,000-3,000 crore. If shifted, there will be a problem of environmental degradation as the land cannot be used for agriculture, the TDP president said.

On top of it, farmers -- who are yet to get compensation for donating 33,000 acres of land under an unique 'land pooling scheme' for creation of the capital and who are agitating against the government's plan to shift the capital -- will be badly affected with the proposed move, he said and added the compensation amount is to the tune of Rs 1-4 lakh crore.

Denying any "irregularities" in making Amaravati as capital, he said it was created based on recommendations of the Sivaramakrishnan Committee constituted by the Centre in 2014 post-bifurcation.

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