Amaravati, Sep 14 (SocialNews.XYZ) Support poured in for Amaravati farmers whose 'Maha Padayatra 2.0' entered the third day on Wednesday, demanding development of Amaravati as the only state capital.
On the third day, farmers and other people from 29 villages of Amaravati region started the walkathon from Duggirala town. Locals showered petals on the participants to extend their support.
People from various walks of life are joining the participants enroute and walking along with them for some distance as a mark of solidarity.
Leaders and workers of all political parties barring ruling YSRCP are also supporting the long march.
Holding green colour flags and raising slogans of 'Jai Amaravati', farmers, agriculture labourers, women and others are walking along with a specially decorated chariot.
Organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi (APS) and Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Amaravati farmers, the long march began from Venkatapalem on September 12. It coincided with completion of 1,000 days of their protest against trifurcation of the state capital.
The padyatra with the slogan 'Build Amaravati, Save Andhra Pradesh' is proposed to conclude at Arasavalli in Srikakulam district on November 11 after passing through 16 districts and covering nearly 1,000 kms.
Meanwhile, participants in padyatra made it clear that they are not against the development of north Andhra as being deliberately projected by some people. They said their padyatra was aimed at highlighting the plight of farmers and other people of Amaravati who surrendered their lands for development of Amaravati as the state capital but were betrayed after the government decided to develop three state capitals.
After coming to power in 2019, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government had reversed the decision of the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government to develop Amaravati as the only state capital. It decided to develop three state capitals - Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.
Under the three capital formula of Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government, Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra will be developed as administrative capital, Kurnool in Rayalaseema will be turned into judicial capital while Amaravati in south coastal Andhra will be retained as legislative capital. The ruling party defended the move on the ground that this will ensure decentralisation of development.
Last year, the farmers undertook a 45-day long Padyatra from Amaravati to Tirupati. The march titled Nyayasthanam (High Court) to Devasthanam (Tirumala temple) had passed through Rayalaseema region.
The second Maha Padyatra is scheduled to pass through north coastal Andhra.
"We will give a clear message to the people of north Andhra that we are not against their development," APS general secretary G. Tirupati Rao. He vowed to continue their fight till the state government withdraws its move to have three state capitals.
The area reverberated with the slogans of 'Jai Amaravati' as the padyatra began in the presence of leaders of all political parties barring ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
The organisers through 'Maha Padyatra 2.0' are demanding that the state government implement the March 3 orders of Andhra Pradesh High Court. APS leaders said the state government had not changed its mind even after the High Court had ruled that the state has no legislative competence to split, bifurcate or trifurcate the state capital.
On 75 petitions filed by Amaravati farmers and others challenging the government's move for trifurcation of the state capital, the court had ruled that Amaravati should be developed as the capital city. It also laid specific timelines for the same.
The High Court last week gave signal to the long march hours after the police refused to give the permission.
However, the court has given the nod to the organisers subject to the condition that not more than 600 people should participate in the march. The police have issued identity cards to the participants.
Earlier, Director General of Police Rajendranath Reddy issued an order denying permission for the match on the ground that there was apprehension of breach of peace.