As it is gearing up to move its administrative base soon, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday decided to conduct the Republic Day Parade in the port city of Visakhapatnam on January 26.
The decision to organise the official Republic Day function in Visakhapatnam was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, official sources said.
Accordingly, Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan has been informed of the decision while the Visakhapatnam district administration has been asked to make necessary arrangements for the ceremonial event.
The Republic Day Parade will be conducted on the famous Ramakrishna Beach in the coastal city.
Focus has been on Visakhapatnam ever since the Chief Minister hinted last month that it could soon become the "executive capital" of the state.
It is expected that all government offices, including the state Secretariat, will be shifted to Visakhapatnam before the first half of the current year.
Meanwhile, Amaravati, which was the capital envisioned by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, is expected to be retained as the Legislative capital, hosting the Assembly. The YSRCP government has also said that Kurnool, in the state's Rayalaseema region, will be the judicial capital and the High Court may be set up there.
The decision has not been without controversy, as farmers in Amaravati who had given their land for the capital, have staged widespread protests over the last month. Their unanimous demand has been to ensure that the capital stays where it is. Opposition parties have also backed the protests by farmers, stating that development should be decentralised, but the capital should remain in one place.
After the state bifurcation in June 2014, the previous TDP government conducted Independence Day and Republic Day functions in different towns and cities, though over the last two years, Vijayawada remained the venue for ceremonial events.