Machilipatnam: Farmers from Andhra Pradesh protesting against the move to relocate state capital Amaravati on Thursday urged the Prime Minister to intervene even as opposition parties took to the streets of Machilipatnam seeking alms for a campaign against the YSR Congress-led government's plan.
Farmers and citizens dialled the 'Mann Ki Baat' phone line and recorded an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevent the shifting of the state capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu as well as other opposition leaders, including those from the Jana Sena and the BJP, conducted a 'Praja Chaitanya Yatra' in Machilipatnam against the proposed three-capital formula. The leaders approached shopkeepers and passersby and sought donations for their movement.
CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna and other leaders, under the aegis of Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti (committee for protection of Amaravati), accompanied Naidu.
“All the political parties and NGOs have come together for the cause of Amaravati. People have to emerge as a huge force. Amaravati has the blessings of all the people in the state and the support of all political parties. No one has the power to shift the capital from Amaravati,” said Naidu.
Students also turned up in large numbers from Koneru, raising slogans against the proposal to shift the capital. During the protests, Naidu said the YSRCP should contest the elections again and list the three-capital plan in their manifesto.
“If the ruling YSRCP wins the election, the government can shift the capital anywhere in the state. Then I will respect the people's mandate,” said Naidu.
Naidu said 11 farmers, who gave up their fertile agricultural lands for Amaravati, have died so far due to heart attacks.
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Vijayawada, Jana Sena political affairs committee chairman and former Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar claimed the ruling YSRCP was terrorising residents of the state through its "whimsical" decisions.
"The YSRCP was seeking to create a rift between the people of different regions only to gain political mileage in the forthcoming elections to local bodies," he said.
Students and other sections of society on Thursday took out a rally in Tenali in support of the farmers. Similar protests were also organised in Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Rajamahendravaram.
In Kurnool, an all-party meeting opposed the plan to shift the capital and in too protests were organised by the TDP and other parties against the move to relocate the state capital.
(With PTI inputs)