Even as farmers in Andhra Pradesh's Amaravati region came out on the streets again on Monday to protest against the proposed move to shift the state capital to Visakhapatnam, the ruling YSRCP said that its final decision would be announced on December 27.
Speaking to reporters in Visakhapatnam, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister Botcha Satyanarayana said that a cabinet meeting would take place in the city on December 27, which would discuss the recommendations of an expert panel.
An expert committee headed by G N Rao, which was constituted by the YSRCP government to decide the fate of the capital, had announced last week that it had recommended three capitals in Amaravati, Vizag, and Kurnool.
"Committee has recommended shifting of the capital city to Visakhapatnam from Amaravati, while the judicial capital and High Court will be in Kurnool. The Assembly and Raj Bhavan will remain in Amaravati, and we will transform the region into an educational hub," Satyanarayana told reporters on Monday.
After the cabinet meet, the state government may issue an ordinance declaring Visakhapatnam the capital, as there is a need for an official announcement to be made on the issue.
Several protestors, including farmers in Amaravati, who have been opposing the move, are also waiting for an official order or notification from the state government. This, they say, will allow them to challenge the move to shift the capital in court.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu visited a protest camp by farmers at Tulluru and challenged the YSRCP government to order a probe by a High Court judge if it felt there was 'insider trading' in land deals in Amaravati.
The AP Secretariat virtually wore a deserted look on Monday as not a single minister attended work.
Protestors denouncing the YSRCP government's move to relocate the state capital, also staged a dharna in front of Endowments Minister V Srinivasa Rao's residence in Vijayawada. Women turned up in large numbers for the protest in Amaravati as families that gave up their fertile agricultural land for the capital demanded that the government drop its move.
"Our fertile lands were taken away and now they are trying to shift the capital from here. Our future has been pushed into darkness and we have been thrown on the roads," the farmers lamented at the dharna camp at Mandadam village.