Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan on Thursday criticised the Andhra Pradesh government’s approach to constructing the upcoming capital of Amaravati and said that development needed to be ‘inclusive’.
Speaking about the exclusive manner in which Amaravati was being built, he said, "When I asked Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he said that 1,200 to 1,800 acres will be enough to construct a capital, but that figure has now gone up to 33,000 acres."
The Jana Sena chief was speaking at the inauguration of a book titled Whose capital, Amaravati? written by former bureaucrat IYR Krishna Rao, at Vijayawada’s MB Bhavan on Thursday evening.
Stating that people should not be published for the mistakes of the rulers, Pawan said, "If development takes place without humanity, people will suffer."
Taking the example of Telangana’s demand for a separate state, he said that there would have been no regional disparities if the rulers had addressed the development in a uniform way.
Fearing social unrest in the future, he said "When injustice was done by a few people in united Andhra, Telangana people blamed all Andhraites. Who will the people of Andhra Pradesh blame if the same thing happens again?"
He also warned of a separate Rayalaseema movement if the centralised development continued in the state.
Claiming that the city was being built in an exclusive manner in favour of a community, he said, "There will be identity-based movements and political instability."
Pawan Kalyan appealed to the state government, that since Amaravati has a long-standing history of Buddhism, the ruling party should take up the spirit of Buddha.
The book inauguration also saw former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar, CPI leader Ramakrishna and CPM leader Madhu present on stage.
Prof C Ramachandraiah of the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) was also present. Speaking at the event, the professor said that questioning the irregularities in capital construction was not ‘trouble-making’ or ‘anti-development’.
He opined that in the name of the Land Acquisition Act, a lot of farmers in the Amaravati region had been exploited, as they were being allegedly threatened by law enforcement authorities.
Undavalli Arun Kumar highlighted the irregularities in the land pooling process and also pointed out that a report by the Prof Shiva Ramakrishnan committee was side lined.
"Don't make it a ghost city. Let there be human beings in it,” Arun Kumar said.
Taking a dig at Naidu's committee which included TDP MPs Sujana Chowdary and Galla Jayadev, Undavalli said that the CM must have at least appointed some local experts, so that people would have believed his claims.
The heads of the Left parties also attacked the Naidu government's alleged discriminatory methods of land pooling and compensation.
While Madhu of CPM said that the Dalits and other weaker sections of society were being given poor compensation and land was being allotted to them on the basis of caste, CPI's Ramakrishna said that it is time to fight against the current politics.
“We will work with Pawan Kalyan to bring about qualitative change," he said.
IYR Krishna Rao, whose book details the patterns being adopted for constructing the capital, said that Naidu had "strategically manipulated" the location of Amaravati.
He also alleged that Amaravati is the city which came up without a feasibility report.