Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitharam threw back the Opposition challenge that the YSRCP government is ready to seek a fresh vote on Amaravati as a referendum.
YSRCP’s own Lok Sabha MP Raghurama Krisnam Raju on Monday challenged his government to go for a fresh ballot to see if its three-capital idea has public support. Raju had challenged the Jagan government that he is willing to quit the party if an election is held with Amaravati as referendum.
Raju, who revolted against his own party by lodging a complaint with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla citing threat to life from his party’s leaders, reiterated that he would win the elections with a thumping majority if elections were to be held with Amaravati as referendum.
“Let the Jagan government take up a referendum. I will quit politics if the public verdict in the referendum goes against the capital city at Amaravati. Or, let Jagan dissolve the government and go for fresh elections on the issue of shifting the capital city away from Amaravati. Why are you scared. If you think you will win the polls, accept Amaravati as a referendum.”
The Opposition parties, mainly the TDP, and the Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi joint action committee, too had challenged the Jagan Mohan Reddy government to dissolve the Assembly and seek public referendum with capital as the agenda.
Talking to media persons, Tammineni Sitharam said the government is ready to accept the challenge to seek a fresh vote with Amaravati as referendum. “We want the capital to be in Vizag, the opposition parties want the capital to remain in Amaravati. In such a scenario, let there be a referendum. There is nothing to fear. We will get to know if there is public support for Amaravati to be the capital city,” he said.
Further, Sitharam recalled that TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao had quit the Lok Sabha over the separate statehood and sought a referendum on Telangana. “There is nothing wrong in seeking a fresh vote,” Sitharam added.
The High Court had recently taken serious objection to the comments made by Tammineni Sitaram against the judges and courts. A Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha activist filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court stating that Tammineni Sitaram’s comments that the judiciary was interfering in the policy decisions of the state government will undermine the courts and lower the dignity of the judges.
Reacting to a series of recent pronouncements by the High Court against the state government’s policy decisions, Sitaram commented that where was the need for the people to elect MLAs and MPs if the courts can decide what the state government should do. “What is the purpose of elections? It appears that the judges want to run the affairs of the government. Can the state be ruled from court halls? If that is the case, is there a need to elect a chief minister, MLAs or MPs,” he had questioned. The AP High Court ordered a CBI probe into anti-judiciary remarks made by YSRCP leaders, including Tammineni Sitaram, Deputy Chief Minister Narayana Swamy, MPs V Vijayasai Reddy, Nandigam Suresh and former MLA A Krishna Mohan.