Rapaka Varaprasada Rao, the lone MLA from actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly backed the YSRCP government's move to decentralise the state's capital on Monday.
Speaking after the introduction of the 'Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020', which seeks to set up a legislative capital in Amaravati, an executive capital in Visakhapatnam and a judicial one in Kurnool, Rao defied his party's stand, to back Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"If development is concentrated, only people in that region will benefit. We have experienced this with the Congress and TDP in Hyderabad, during united Andhra Pradesh's time," he said.
“Just because the state government proposed something, we should not oppose it, especially if there is merit in the decision. The state's development is important to me and not my post as a legislator. I speak on behalf of my people, when I support it," he added.
The vote on the Bill is, however, yet to happen in Assembly.
Earlier in the day, the JSP shot off a letter to Rao, where it said that the party had concluded that the capital for Andhra Pradesh being constructed at Amaravati should be continued.
"After consensus in our party, it has been decided that administration of the state should be in one place and development should reach all corners of Andhra Pradesh," the letter said.
"Ensure that you will be present and oppose the introduction of the Bills in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly as directed by our party," the JSP had added.
This is not the first time that Rao has defied his party's stand. In December last year, Rao had backed the move to introduce English medium education in all government schools from the coming academic year.
"I myself am a Dalit MLA. Most students in government schools are from Dalit families and poor economic backgrounds. Those who can afford the fees tend to go to private English medium schools. The CM has taken a good decision to introduce English medium in government schools, and it shouldn’t be objected,” the MLA had said at the time.
Varaprasada Rao won the MLA seat from the reserved SC constituency of Razole in East Godavari district.