A doctor-turned politician from Rayalaseema Dr Mysoora Reddy and a man behind Separate Statehood for Rayalaseema slogan has once again surfaced on the AP political front in the backdrop of changed political scenario following the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s decision to build 3 capitals.
In this backdrop, the former Home Minister and a contemporary politician to late Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy expressed his opinions on wide-ranging issues especially on the 3 capitals and Separate Statehood for Rayalaseema demand etc during an exclusive interview with our Special Correspondent. Here are excerpts from the special interview:
Q: As you know the demand for separate statehood for Rayalaseema had surfaced again. It is said that you are the person behind this. Is it true?
Ans: See. It’s not the job of one man. Leaders and politicians should come forward. Here only those leaders can survive who stands for the rights of Rayalaseema. All like-minded people are meeting me in this connection. We are chalking out plans together collectively. We have already written a letter to the present Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on the irrigation sector. Earlier also we have written a letter to the former Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu advising him to choose Domakonda as the capital so that it will be convenient for the entire state. But he went ahead with his own plan of selecting Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh causing injustice to Rayalaseema once again.
We have already sacrificed our capital once in 1952 when Andhra Pradesh was formed by shifting it from Kurnool to Hyderabad. Hence, Justice will only be done to Rayalaseema when the capital is set up here. Otherwise, there is no point in staying united especially after bifurcation of Telangana.
Q: How do you see the 3 Capital decision of Jagan Mohan Reddy?
Ans: Jagan should have made Rayalaseema an Executive Capital as none of the people from north Andhra has asked for it. Rayalaseema is the one which is demanding. Just making it Judicial Capital is an eyewash as 2 more benches are to be set up at Vizag and Guntur. How a judicial Centre can become a state capital?
Q: But Govt says it has plans to bring in here tribunals, commissions etc?
Ans: Let them do it. It doesn’t serve the purpose of all sections since it caters to the advocates alone who are mostly settled in Hyderabad. It would be convenient for them to shuttle here and there every day.
It is painful that YS Jagan who was born, and brought up in Rayalaseema and won majority seats here has done injustice to this region by not setting up executive capital here.
Q: How do you see the Govt’s argument of achieving development only through decentralisation?
Ans: There is no decentralisation here what needs are administration decentralisation. North Andhra got the entire capital, central andhra got half capital without administration and the Rayalaseema has got nothing. So Jagan’s decision has caused injustice once again to this region.
Q: How do you look at the farmers’ struggle in Amaravathi?
Ans: That is between Chandra Babu Naidu and Amaravathi farmers. That’s why we have suggested him to make Domakonda as the capital so that the state will remain united besides there is abundant govt land available up to 70,000 acres. But I don’t know what made him to decided on Amaravathi? He procured lands like he had done it in Hyderabad.
Q: But how do you see their plights and what you suggest to them?
Ans: Chandra Babu should have given a thought to it. They turned real estate agents and procured lands on behalf of the government. Now after the change of government, their land prices might have come down. See, that’s a business. Here we are fighting for our self-pride. We are not against Amaravati farmers. Our contention is we are being ignored by the Government.
See whom all he allotted lands. They included 65 State and Central government establishments for both private and public sector units. None of it was given to Rayalaseema. All India Institute of Medical Sciences was first announced in Ananthapuram. But was later shifted. Similarly, the National Institue of Technology, Centre for Diseases Control, IIM, NIFT, NIDM, NID, Skill Development, Ayush Centre, RBI, Horticulture and tribal welfare, naval, etc are all to set up at Amaravati. Is it necessary to concentrate on one place?
Q: So, on the whole, how do you see the issue?
Ans: Though both Chief Ministers hail from Rayalaseema, they collectively failed to do justice to their motherland. They should have at least come together to do something for their land. This is what made us raise the slogan of Separate Rayalaseema. Once it is made we get all these institutes here automatically. We don’t have to go and beg somebody.
Q: But if a separate Rayalaseema is made, how do you think you can manage?
Ans: You mean revenues?. It is wrong to assume that smaller states will have no money and had to struggle for existence. I do not buy this theory. We get the same revenue what we are getting now after the bifurcation. The expenditure also will be in the same proportion to our income. See when I was in the united AP used to have 3,000 crore income. Today it has grown to Rs 2 lakh crore both Telangana and Andhra put together. Out of which our (Rayalaseema) share will not less than 50,000 crores now. Moreover, the Centre shares the revenue with states on the basis of population. We are 2.5 crores in population. After bifurcation also will get exactly half of what the AP is now getting with which we can happily manage our state.
Q: Will the new Rayalaseema state include only 4 districts?
Ans: No. Our demand is to make it a Greater Rayalaseema which includes parts of Prakasham and Guntur besides complete Nellore so that we will have some coastal access as well.
Q: How do you react to some of your Rayalaseema leaders arguing that they have no objection if capital is at Amaravati?
Ans: Yes. Some people are demanding. But it’s not correct. What we are asking is to make Rayalseema a Capital itself.
Q: Finally what do you think if all Rayalaseema Reddys continue to back YS Jagan how do you take forward the separate statehood slogan?
Ans: What Jagan has to do with Reddys. He is no representative of the Reddy community. He is a practising Christian. That’s his personal. Let him do as his forefathers have embraced it. Christian is a Christian and Reddy is a Reddy. There is no politics here. We are all together fighting for the cause.
(The author is a program host of Talk Show With Aravind Kolli and can be reached at email@example.com)