Jagan Says Visakhapatnam Will Be AP's Capital: Why Is There Opposition?

There is a tug of war between TDP and YSRCP over AP's capital. Here's what you need to know.

Jagan Says Visakhapatnam Will Be AP's Capital: Why Is There Opposition?
Hindi Female

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

On 31 January, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said Visakhapatnam will be the capital of AP.

Here's what he said at the International Diplomatic Alliance Meeting in New Delhi:

"I am here to invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself will also be shifting to Visakhapatnam in the months to come. We will organise a global investor summit in Visakhapatnam on 3 and 4 March."

Unusual declaration? The announcement put to rest speculation over where AP's capital could come up. Why was a state which has had two Chief Ministers – Telugu Desam Party's N Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress Party's YS Jagan Mohan Reddy – since bifurcation in 2014, undecided on its capital?

The history: In 2014, Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh and the residual state retained the name AP. In the subsequent state election, Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) N Chandrababu Naidu – who had been the undivided state's CM twice before – was elected back to power.

He wanted to develop a massive area between Guntur and Krishna districts to form a capital. The land was identified and the place was named Amaravati.

Amaravati farmers donated land by the acres to Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) as land prices in the area sore. However, in 2019, Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) got elected to power.

A juggernaut begins: Jagan Reddy, who became the CM of AP in 2019, did not want to Amaravati to be the sole capital. He announced a "decentralisation" move and declared, in 2020, that there will be three capitals for the state:

  • Visakhapatnam – Executive Capital

  • Kurnool – Judicial Capital

  • Amaravati – Legislative Capital

However, the plan had to be scrapped in 2021 as farmers of AP filed scores of petitions in the state's High Court against the proposal to constitute three capitals. As the petitions were being heard, Jagan withdrew the two bills, that were passed by the Assembly, which mooted formation of three capitals. Amaravati became the default capital of AP.

The big picture: While both Naidu's choice of Amaravati and Jagan's choice of the three capitals model could, on face value, seem feasible, each CM seems to have made their decisions based on political calculations. While Naidu could have chosen the Amaravati region because his core vote-base comes from the Krishna-Guntur districts, Jagan could have supported three capitals to stall the wealth accumulation among Amaravati's famers – most of whom, according to YSRCP, hail from Naidu's Kamma caste.

Now, with Visakhapatnam being declared the only capital of AP, will Amaravati farmers stage protests like they did in the past between 2020 and 2021?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from south-india

Topics:  farmers   Amaravati   Visakhapatnam 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More