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Shutdown, protests rock Amaravati over 3-capital plan

Amaravati, Dec 19 (IANS) A shutdown was underway on Thursday as huge protests rocked the region against the Andhra Pradesh government’s proposal to develop three state capitals here.

Farmers and other villagers, who had given their lands for development of Amaravati as the state capital, took to the streets in 29 villages, demanding YSR Congress Party government to drop its proposal to develop Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as two other state capitals.

Protestors including, women blocked the roads including the road leading towards State Secretariat in Velagapudi. The Secretariat employees had to use an alternate route to reach their offices.

Holding placards and raising anti-government slogans, the villagers took out rallies since early morning, demanding that Amaravati be developed as the only capital. Shops and business establishments remained closed.

Additional police forces were deployed in all villages to prevent any untoward incident. Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders also joined the protestors at several places.

Farmers, who had given 33,000 acres of land for Amaravati, fear that the development of three state capitals would hit hard their interests. “We had given our lands, hoping for a better future for our children. The government had promised to develop our lands and give them back. Now all our hopes had dashed by this decision,” said a protestor.

Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had told the State Assembly on Tuesday that the state may have three capitals. He said while Amaravati could serve as legislative capital, Visakahpatnam could be developed as executive capital and Kurnool as judicial capital.

–IANS

Ms/adr/

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