Farmers in Amaravati, who have given up their land for development of Amaravati, have been protesting since the past 24 days demanding that Amaravati should remain as Andhra Pradesh's capital. On Friday, clashes were reported between the villagers and the police after women protesters were denied permission for a foot march. Women from Amaravati village had decided to conduct a 'padh yatra' to Vijayawada but the police had made it clear on Thursday that Section 144 has been imposed so there was no permission for any protest.
TDP president and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who has been in the forefront leading the protests against the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led state government, on Thursday held a rally in Machilipatnam area of Krishna district seeking people's support in retaining Amaravati as the sole capital of the state. He also appealed for donations from people to continue his movement. CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna accompanied Chandrababu Naidu in the rally.
On Wednesday, Naidu and several other leaders were taken into custody by police in Vijayawada on Wednesday when they tried to take out a "bus rally" in solidarity with the farmers’ agitation. All the leaders were released hours later. Naidu's son Lokesh and other TDP leaders, including K Atchannaidu, Kesineni Srinivas and Uma Maheswarrao, were among those detained on Wednesday night, said the police. They were shifted to a police bus to be driven away. Congress state unit vice-president Padma Sri and CPI general secretary Ramakrishna were also among those detained.
The GN Rao Committee, which was set up by the Andhra Pradesh government to look into the suggestion of three capitals, has made a recommendation to allow decentralised development in the state by using the available resources efficiently. It proposed Visakhapatnam as the Executive capital and Kurnool the Judicial capital while retaining Amaravati as the legislative capital.
Amid uncertainty over Andhra Pradesh's new capital(s), a senior YSRCP leader has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, stating, the declaration of "Amaravati" as the capital was unconstitutional and violates the fundamental constitutional principles. YSRCP MLA Dharmana Prasada Rao in his letter accused the previous Chandrababu Naidu government of overriding an expert committee recommendation to declare "Amaravati" as the new capital.
(with ANI inputs)