Amaravati farmers oppose capital shifting plan

Amaravati, Aug 26 (IANS) Amid confusion created by statements of Andhra Pradesh ministers and ruling YSRCP leaders over possible shifting of the state capital from Amaravati, a section of farmers who gave their lands for the capital took to the streets on Monday.

The protest created traffic jam on the road leading to the Secretariat.

Criticising statements by Urban Development Minister Botsa Satyanarayana and BJP MP T.G. Venkatesh, farmers of Krishnayapalem in the Guntur district staged the protest and demanded state capital in Amaravati.

Contesting Satyanarayana's statement that Amaravati was a flood-prone area, they said none of the villages falling under the capital region were flooded in the past.

About 24,000 farmers had given 33,000 acres for the state capital under the land pooling scheme. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government had promised them to return them part of the land as developed property in addition to the lease amount.

Meanwhile, Satyanarayana on Monday said the government was aware of the land scam in Amaravarti and it would will be revealed at an appropriate time. There was an 'insider trading', which would be made public soon.

Immediately after assuming the office in May, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had alleged a big land scam in Amaravati. The TDP government leaders indulged in insider trading as they were privy to the information about the location of the state capital, he added.

Satyanarayana said a former Union Minister was claiming that he had no land in the capital. "He is MP and if he throws a challenge, we will reveal all the details," he said without naming the leader.

Y.S. Chowdary, who recently quit the TDP to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had recently denied owning any land in Amaravati.

On Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan's statement about Amaravati, the minister reminded him of the stand taken by him in the past.

Kalyan, who had staged protest over forcible acquisition of land from farmers by then TDP government, two days ago said shifting the capital out of Amaravati would scare away investors and cause massive unemployment.

Satyanarayana said even the BJP had made allegations of irregularities in development of state capital. Some farmers had not received lease amount and the government would address their problem, he added.

Meanwhile, BJP's state unit president Kanna Lakshminarayana demanded that the government clarify its stand on Amaravati.

--IANS

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