Members of the Kurnool District Bar Association on Thursday began a relay hunger strike, demanding that the Andhra Pradesh High Court be shifted from its present premises in the state's capital of Amaravati, to Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region.
Speaking at the event, senior advocate and former President of the Bar, Jayaraju Yeggoni, "Rayalaseema has been neglected for decades. Even though we have had several Chief Ministers who hail from the region, the area continues to be backward."
The Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh consists of the districts of Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor. Locals here have often alleged neglect, as the region is underdeveloped, compared to other parts of the state.
The lawyers argued on the need for decentralisation of institutions in the state, in order to ensure balanced development to all parts of Andhra Pradesh.
Last month, as the YSRCP government made it clear that it had no grand plans for the capital of Amaravati, the same group of lawyers shot off a letter to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"The establishment of a high court at one place and the location of capital at another place is not new or first of its kind. The establishment of a high court in Rayalaseema region at Kurnool is not only a historic necessity, but also a pragmatic step for the equitable development of both regions," the letter stated.
The demand to set up the high court in Kurnool is far from new, and agitation has been ongoing for the past three years. With the YSRCP storming to power in the state, the protesting advocates hope that their long-pending demand will be fulfilled.