The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday categorically said there was no proposal to change the state capital from Amaravati, an assertion that could possibly put an end to uncertainty and speculation on the issue going on for over six months now.
During the State Assembly session, Telugu Desam Party members P Samanthakamani, G Deepak Reddy and P Ashok Babu had raised the question regarding the state's capital, a contentious issue that has dominated the conversations for a while now. Botsa Satyanarayana, who is the State Municipal Administration Minister said in a written reply to the state legislative council that there was no proposal to currently change the state's capital.
The discussion around a shift in the capital intensified the day when Jagan Mohan Reddy took over as the state's Chief Minister and ordered for all infrastructure work to stop - thus leading to speculation that the capital might be shifted.
Earlier, there were reports that the Andhra Pradesh government will decide on the future of the state's new capital once the expert panel constituted to draft a comprehensive plan for its development, submits its report.
In September, the government constituted an expert committee headed by retired IAS officer G Nageswara Rao to determine the scope and shape of the capital, among other things. A series of statements by several ministers on Amaravati only confounded the confusion, triggering protests from opposition parties and other sections, who demanded that the state capital city not be changed. The Municipal Minister, however, maintained that a decision on the capital would be taken only after the expert committee submitted its report. Sources said the committee is expected to submit its report on December 22 or 23.
Last month, the Chief Minister ordered that the stalled development projects in Amaravati be resumed, but with their scope drastically reduced to avoid wasteful expenditure.
Against this backdrop, the government came out with an official announcement on the capital in the Legislative Council.
(with inputs from agencies)