New Delhi, Jan 31: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday announced that Visakhapatnam will soon be the state capital.

The chief minister invited industrialists to Visakhapatnam for the global investors' summit scheduled to be held on March 3 and 4.

He was addressing representatives of various companies at a curtain raiser event in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"Here I am to invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital, in the days to come. I myself would also be shifting over to Visakhapatnam in the months to come as well," said Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is currently running the government from Amaravati.

This is the first time that the chief minister has made a categorical statement about shifting the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam.

Though it was in 2019 that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government had mooted the idea of three state capitals with Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, the protest by farmers of Amaravati over shifting of the capital and the High Court order directing the government to develop Amaravati as the state capital had delayed the process.

It was on December 17, 2019 that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced in the state Assembly that three state capitals will be developed reversing the decision of the previous TDP government to develop Amaravati as the state capital.

The YSRCP government mooted Visakhapatnam as administrative capital, Kurnool as judicial capital and Amaravati as legislative capital.

This triggered massive protests from farmers of Amaravati, who had given 33,000 acres of land for the capital and the previous government had also undertaken the works on some components of the mega project.

The farmers had organised a padyatra from Amaravti to Tirupati in 2021 to mobilize public support for their demands. They had launched Maha Padyatra from Amaravati to Arasavalli on September 12 last year. It was scheduled to end at Arasavalli on November 12. However, the organisers stopped it enroute alleging that the YSRCP government is creating hurdles in their long march.

On March 3, 2022, Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the state government to develop Amaravati as the state capital in six months. A bench of three judges had pronounced the judgment on 75 petitions filed by Amaravati farmers and others challenging the government's move on three capitals.

However, the state government filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. In November last year, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order saying the court cannot act like a town planner or an engineer.

(IANS | Posted on 31 January 2023, 1695527768 44O192O254O173)