The Union government constituted committee to select a new capital city for Seemandhra will tour the state in May, after the ongoing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Out of Andhra Pradesh (AP), a new Telangana state will come into being from 2 June. Hyderabad will remain a joint capital for the bifurcated states-Telangana and Seemandhra for 10 years. Within the period, a new capital city for Seemandhra will be decided and developed.
The committee, headed by the Union Urban Development Secretary K Shivaramakrishnan, held its first meeting in New Delhi on 24 April. AP's Chief Secretary PK Mohanty and other officials of both the Centre and State governments participated in the committee meeting that lasted for two-hours.
According to the committee, it will look into all the requirements of a state capital, before selecting an existing city or a greenfield region. Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kurnool, Donakonda and Amaravati are the cities/sites being considered and one among them will be the new capital for the residual AP. Visakhapatnam is the second largest city in AP after Hyderabad, but is situated far away from Seemandhra districts.
The committee will elicit people's opinion by touring the state. Before visiting AP, the committee will meet once again on 2 May, Shivaramkrishnan said. Availability of natural resources like vast land, water, transport facilities such as rail, road, air and other essential requirements will be considered before finalizing any city or a greenfield region as the new capital. The committee will compare the available sites and cities for the suitability of the new capital.
The committee is supposed to submit its report on the new capital for Seemandhra by August 31. Currently AP is under the President's rule. The State Governor ESL Naramihan, who was also in Delhi on Thursday, met the Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and discussed about the bifurcation process.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi is scheduled to campaign in Seemandhra for NDA candidates in May. Election for Lok Sabha and the State Assembly will be over in Telangana on 30 April and polls are to be held in Seemandra on 7 May. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has joined hands with BJP in a pre-election alliance.
Modi will address an election rally in Visakhapatnam on 1 May and after that he will be on a whirlwind campaigning in Seemandhra, but the exact schedule is yet to be decided, say media reports.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Jana Sena founder and actor Pawan Kalyan will also share the dais with Modi in the campaign rallies.
₹6 crore seized from two buses
In another poll-related incident in AP, election officials and police have seized ₹6 crore from two buses at Palamakula in Shamshabad Mandalam of Rangareddy district on Friday. The two private buses were reaching Hyderabad from Bangalore. Three persons have been detained and the two buses have been seized, police said. Two persons managed to escape in the incident, police added.
Seemandhra Congress election campaign committee chairman Chiranjeevi told the media that nobody could wipe out Congress party. His brother Pawan Kalyan has launched Jana Sena and joined hands with BJP-headed NDA to "drive out" Congress from AP. Chiranjeevi criticized TDP for allotting Hindupur Assembly seat, a Muslim reserved seat, to Balakrishna, a close relative of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.