‘No festival until we achieve goal’: Amaravati farmers continue padyatra on Deepavali

The foot march from Amaravati to Tirupati is to press for the demand that Amaravati be retained as the only capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Farmers participating in the padyatra
Farmers participating in the padyatra
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Farmers and women from Amaravati continued their 'Mahapadyatra' for a fourth day on Thursday, November 4, to press for their demand that the city be retained as the only state capital of Andhra Pradesh. Titled 'court to temple', the walkathon from Amaravati to Tirupati resumed Thursday morning from Pulladigunta in Guntur district. The farmers and women continued their march even on Deepavali. The participants said there was no festival for them till they achieve their goal to save Amaravati. "Our situation is that we can't celebrate any festivals. It doesn't matter if we don't have light in our homes this Deepavali but we want to see the light in the entire state and this is possible if Amaravati is developed as the only state capital," said one of the women participating in 'Mahapadyatra'.

The participants walked 11 km on Thursday to reach Prathipadu in the same district and after the night halt, will resume the foot march. Some farmers from neighbouring Telangana also joined the 'Mahapadyatra' in a show of solidarity with Amaravati farmers. Some leaders of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) participated in the march.

The mega walkathon began from Thulluru on November 1 and is scheduled to conclude at Tirupati on December 17. The Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee (JAC) are organising the foot march. The participants will walk 10-15 km every day for the next 45 days to reach Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, passing through 70 major villages in Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, and Chittoor districts. Barring the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), all political parties are extending support to the 'Mahapadyatra'. The YSRCP has, however, described the foot march as a ploy by TDP president and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu.

With 'Mahapadyatra', the agitation by Amaravati farmers has entered a new phase. They have been continuing their campaign for 660 days to protest against the state government's plans for trifurcation of the state capital. Farmers and other residents of Amaravati villages have been demanding that Amaravati be retained as the only state capital. After coming to power in 2019, the YSR Congress Party government led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has decided to shift the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam and the judicial capital to Kurnool while retaining Amaravati as only the legislative capital.

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