Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said in the AP Assembly on Thursday that he has nothing against Amaravati as his wish is that every region should develop. Hence, the three capitals plan, he explained.
Addressing the house on decentralised development, the chief minister said “dramas” were staged in the name of a movement about the Amaravati area that was “undeveloped and unbuilt” during the five years of the Telugu Desam term.
“A sum of Rs 1,10,000 crore is needed for the development of infrastructure in Amaravati and nearly Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh crore to establish Amaravati as the full-fledged capital as per the graphic designs. By contrast, Visakhapatnam is a developed city and it can be developed as the executive capital with much less money.”
Jagan said Chandrababu Naidu as chief minister spent only Rs 5,500 crore for Amaravati development in five years. “Naidu left a debt of Rs 2297 crore which showed the reality of Amaravati.”
Affirming that decentralization was the only way for all-round development, the CM said he treated all regions equally and Vizag could be the natural choice as it was the biggest city in the state with a ready-made infrastructure. He dubbed the Opposition hue and cry over this proposed shift as a sham.
Jagan said, “With a little boost, Visakhapatnam would be the natural capital with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, less than 10 per cent of the estimated sum for Amaravati as a full-fledged capital.
Taking a dig at the present agitation from Amaravati, he said such an offensive was not for the development of SCs, STs, BCs or the minorities but to safeguard the vested interests of the wealthy class
The chief minister said there was not much of a difference between the state budget of the previous and present governments. “It is about 2.50 lakh crore.”
He said “Then why didn’t the previous government take up programmes like Amma Vodi, YSR Asara, Cheyutha, Rythu Bharosa and give Rs 1.65 lakh crore in direct benefit transfer to the poor under various schemes? Now, how it could be possible for us? This is a matter of commitment and priority. While welfare of the weaker sections is our priority, the welfare of only a section of the society was the priority for Chandrababu.”
“The state, in our view, is the entire stretch of 1.62 lakh sq.km radius, not the 8 km radius of which there has been an agitation now. The state consists of 3.96 crore acres and not just 50,000 acres. The farmers of these lands along with all those who are benefiting through the Rythu Bharosa are the farmers. But the ‘gang of four’ has been spreading false stories and wants us to concentrate on the development of one region. They are writing highly biased and opinionated stories.”
CM Jagan added, “I have been talking about decentralization time and again. From the setting up of village and ward secretariats to doubling the districts to 26, we have shown what decentralization could be. This has been doing wonders. During the calamities, the welfare delivery mechanism has been working well and effectively.”
Hitting hard at the ongoing Yatra by farmers, sponsored by “Naidu and the Big Four with funny slogans,” he said this was only to provoke the people of other regions.
Decentralization, he stressed, is the policy of the government. “I am not against any region. Two more capitals will be added to the present Amaravati, taking the number to three, and I never said Amaravati should be taken away from the present scheme.”
Four bills were introduced in the assembly on the opening day of the monsoon session. Panchayat Raj minister Mutyalanaidu introduced the AP Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill 2022, while roads minister Ramalingadeswara tabled the Road Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2022. Agriculture minister Kakani Govardhan on behalf of the chief minister introduced the AP Services Disciplinary Proceedings Tribunal Repeal Bill 2022 and he also tabled AP Agriculture Produce and Livestock Markets (Amendment) Bill 2022 Bill.
The assembly condoled the death of leaders who passed away recently. The deceased were former MLA Shatrucharla Chandrasekhar, Bojjala Gopalakrishna, Pulaparthi Narayanamurthy, J.R. Pushparaj and Nallamilli Moolareddy.
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