The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, December 15, allowed farmers of Amaravati region to organise a public meeting in Tirupati on December 17.The court gave the permission for the meeting subject to certain conditions. The organisers were directed to hold the meeting from 1 pm to 6 pm and follow COVID-19 protocol. The court order came a day after the maha padayatra or walkathon by farmers and landowners of Amaravati demanding that Amaravati be retained as the only state capital concluded in Tirupati.
After covering 450 km in 44 days, the maha padayatra from Amaravati to Tirupati ended at Alipiri, at the foothills of the Tirumala Venkateswara temple. The Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee wanted to organise the public meeting at the end of the maha padayatra but Chittoor district police had denied them permission.
Following this, they approached the High Court. The counsel on behalf of petitioners argued that the foot march concluded smoothly without any law and order problems. On the other hand, the government submitted to the court that if the public meeting was allowed, it could lead to clashes on regional lines. It brought to court's notice certain video clips of farmers allegedly attacking police during the maha padayatra.
Reaching the Garuda statue at #Alipiri, the foot of #Tirumala hills, the #Amaravatifarmers turned emotional and chant 'Govinda Govinda' some knelt down on road, reverence to the sacred hills, broke coconuts marking the end of their 44-days #MahaPadaYatra#Tirupati #AndhraPradesh pic.twitter.com/TjryulOpy8— Surya Reddy (@jsuryareddy67) December 14, 2021
The court rejected the arguments of the government and allowed the farmers to conduct the meeting. The organisers were directed to avoid making comments which could lead to law and order problems.
Rayalaseema Hakkula Sadhana Samithi, a group fighting for the rights of Rayalaseema region, wanted to organise a public meeting on the same day but the court made it clear that two meeting can't be allowed the same day and suggested it to hold the meeting on some other day. Chittoor is part of Rayalaseema region.
#AmaravatiFarmers 45 days #MahaPadaYatra for retained #Amaravati as the only state capital of #AndhraPradesh. Titled 'court to temple', the walkathon from Amaravati to Tirupati was reached #Tirupati today.#AmaravatiFarmersMarch pic.twitter.com/BmT6hacrQT— Surya Reddy (@jsuryareddy67) December 14, 2021
The Andhra Pradesh government had earlier proposed to develop Kurnool in Rayalaseema as the judicial capital and Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra as administrative capital, while retaining Amaravati as the legislative capital. In November, the YSRCP government withdrew the Bills allowing for the capital trifurcation. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told the Assembly that the government will return to the House with a comprehensive, improved Bill.