For Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, it is the biggest opportunity ever to consolidate not only his position but also that of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as he readies to put up a spectacular show on October 22 for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the new capital Amaravati.
Naidu, who prides himself for developing Cyberabad in the undivided state, is keen to derive whatever political advantage he can from launching the construction of the new capital. On the one hand Naidu, who returned to power after 10 years, has little elbow room as the state’s bifurcation left AP with empty coffers but on the other, if he manages to pull off his vision of constructing a grand capital city, it will be a political and personal victory, especially with young rival Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSRCP breathing down his neck.
Naidu and the TDP will put up a show of strength at the ceremony painting Vijayawada city, and Krishna and Guntur districts yellow, the colour of TDP. The TDP claims its land-pooling scheme to procure land from farmers in the capital region is a great success as farmers gave up 30,000 acres without any fuss. Naidu and party leaders never tire of praising themselves for this. However, YSRCP and the Left parties have accused the government of using subtle intimidation and arm-twisting tactics to force farmers to give up their land in lieu of compensation packages.
Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is also leaving no stone unturned to score a few political points by backing some farmers whose land the government wants but since the famers have refused to give it up, this is still in limbo. On August 26, Jagan held a dharna also in Guntur to protest against the government’s move to acquire land forcibly. His protest received a tremendous response.
Last week, even before the TDP government had sent out invitations for the Amaravati ceremony, Jagan had dashed off a letter to CM Naidu asking him not send him an invite because he won’t attend the ceremony in protest against the manner in which land was acquired.
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