Hanging In Balance, Fates Of Naidu’s Amaravati And Narendra Modi
By Sushil Kutty Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has five years to create a capital city out of Amaravati. This is because elections play funny games and one of them is dashing the hopes of sitting governments dreaming of continuity. Who knows Jagan Mohan Reddy might be back with a vengeance after five years […]

By Sushil Kutty

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has five years to create a capital city out of Amaravati. This is because elections play funny games and one of them is dashing the hopes of sitting governments dreaming of continuity. Who knows Jagan Mohan Reddy might be back with a vengeance after five years of Chandrababu and ‘Amaravati’ not yet Andhra Pradesh capital? Whoever thought Jagan Mohan Reddy would win in 2024 was feeding his bias, just like the supporters of Naveen Patnaik in Odisha and those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the BJP headquarters.

Such are the vagaries of politics and elections. The “public hai jo sab jaanti hai” is always taking on different meanings at different places in different elections. So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets his party’s backside kicked in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, even as Naveen Patnaik’s BJD found itself become the butt of jokes in Odisha. Chandrababu Naidu found nirvana in Andhra Pradesh which encouraged Amaravati farmers to call off their more than four-year-long protest against Jagan Mohan Reddy’s three capitals’ initiative.

Point being made is, those who expected continuity to prevail were given short-shrift by the electorate. The farmers of Amaravati couldn’t do a thing as long as Jagan Mohan Reddy was bossing Andhra Pradesh, but with Chandrababu Naidu at the driver’s wheel, the Amaravati farmer is gung ho and Amaravati for state capital is fait accompli. As if Jagan Mohan Reddy will never make a return. The thought doesn’t strike that they had thought the same about Chandrababu Naidu, too.

How wrong were they? If the YSR Congress can be defeated, so can the TDP. Chandrababu Naidu cannot sit on his laurels. The farmers’ protests are off and the protest-camps in the villages have been dismantled. The protest lasted 1,631 days. Since December 2019, the farmers have been fighting for developing Amaravati as the Andhra capital. But YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted not one but three state capitals – Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital and Amaravati as the legislative capital.

Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mistake was that he sat on his laurels. Even otherwise, Jagan’s three-capitals idea never took off in earnest, raising doubts if Jagan Mohan Reddy was ever “in earnest”. Five years after the Amaravati farmers began their protests, there’s nothing much to show of the three-capitals. Hence, Amaravati gets another chance and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has only five years to get Amaravati in to capital form.

The farmers have a stake. Farmers of 29 villages gave 33,000 acres of their land for developing Amaravati as the Andhra Pradesh capital. This was accomplished under a “land pooling system” at the time when Chandrababu was in power and the farmers had flooded the streets, demanding Amaravati be made the Andhra Pradesh capital. This time, with CBN back in power, it is an election promise of the TDP and Chandrababu Naidu is the self-appointed architect.

The protest, for as long as it lasted, was in different forms. From padyatras to slogan-shouting and sit-in strikes. Last week, the farmers watched the live telecast of Naidu’s swearing-in ceremony and at a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs, Naidu announced that Amaravati would be the one and only state capital though Visakhapatnam will be developed as a “financial capital” and Kurnool will also be developed in all manners possible.

TDP allies BJP and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena are supporting Chandrababu Naidu’s call to make Amaravati the sole capital of Andhra Pradesh and people forget that Amaravati-for-capital’s foundation stone was laid in 2015 by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then, too, the TDP was part of the BJP-led NDA.

The master-plan for the capital city Amaravati came from Singapore. Less than a decade later, talk of “Amaravati for Andhra Pradesh’s sole capital” is back in currency. And while the Naidu government, with an unassailable majority, faces no danger of falling before the end of term, Modi’s NDA coalition hangs by the Amaravati thread apart from a couple of other threads.

The reality is, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also cannot sit on his failures. He has to contribute a packet for the development of Andhra Pradesh into a model state, and help turn Amaravati into a model capital. There is no guarantee Modi will remain Prime Minister six months from now and Chandrababu will remain Chief Minister after the next assembly elections come around. For Modi this time, too, it was a close shave. The fates of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amaravati are closely linked. Amaravati played a role in the TDP-JSP-BJP coalition winning the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Now Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA coalition hangs in the balance if Amaravati doesn’t make it to ‘Capital’ status. (IPA Service)

https://thearabianpost.com/hanging-in-balance-fates-of-naidus-amaravati-and-narendra-modi/
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