With elections over, the hectic lobbying for a new capital of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh (Seemanadhra region) has started yet again.
Hyderabad will be the joint capital of the two states for a 10-year period until Seemandhra builds its capital, according to the legislation passed by Parliament. But the Union government constituted a committee last month to finalise a new capital for the non-Telangana region.
Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, who will be sworn in as chief minister on June 2 (the day Telangana will come into existence), is contemplating making Vijayawada or a city nearby the state capital. Sources close to Naidu said that this would not create a rift between the people of Rayalaseema and Andhra.
Naidu has been elected from Kuppam in Rayalseema and is expected to push the development agenda attempting to cut into YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s vote bank in the region.
Naidu and his team are of the opinion that Vijayawada and the nearby cities would be best suited to be the capital of Seemandhra keeping in mind the infrastructure and the available facilities, sources said.
Water will not be a problem because of the Polavaram Right Bank Canal and the Prakasam Barrage. This would the place the capital between Vijayawada and Eluru or between Vijayawada and the Chilakaluripet area of Mangalagiri. While Eluru has the advantage of being close to the Gannavaram airport, Mangalagiri has a lot of land to house state secretariat, state legislature (assembly and council), Raj Bhavan, a high court, government offices and guesthouses. Mangalagiri was favoured during deliberations regarding a new capital for Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu, meanwhile, seems to have ruled out Tirupati. He prefers to keep it as an exclusive pilgrimage site and feels that building a new capital there would rob the place of its sanctity. The city also faces a water problem, which will act as hindrance in building the new capital, insiders tell rediff.com.