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Will BJP’s communal politics succeed in Rayalaseema?

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The BJP, it appears, has found an entry point into the Rayalaseema region. The party feels that rising assertion among the Muslim minorities could help it politically as the YSRCP is fully backing the minorities and the TDP has taken no stand so far on the issue. It feels that by espousing the Hindu cause, it can endear itself to the Hindu voters of Rayalaseema.

AP BJP president Somu Veerraju and several key YSRCP leaders are now on a tour of Rayalaseema and are said to be exploring the possibility of using the Hindu plank. On Thursday, Somu Veerraju has strongly demanded the arrest of communal SDPI’s leader Ataullah for fomenting communalism in otherwise peaceful Rayalaseema region.

The BJP feels that the Atmakur incident can help it gain an entry into the rural interiors of Kurnool district. The incident, the BJP feels, will have its impact on several places such as Kadapa, Pulivendula, Proddatur, Adoni,Kurnool, Nandyal, Atmakur, Srisailam and Kadir, which have sizeable Muslim population. It feels it can play on the insecurities of the Hindu community and get votes.

The BJP is also playing up the recent incident where Proddatur YSRSP MLA tried to install the statue of controversial Nawab Tipu Sultan. The BJP and Hindu orgaisations opposed this move, while the SDPI has strongly supported. However, MLA Sivaprasada Reddy was asked by the YSRCP leadership not to go ahead with the statue installation. Will BJP be able to succeed in its plans? Will the other parties sit mute spectators and allow the BJP play its cards? Let’s wait and see!!

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Why CMs from Rayalaseema didn’t develop region, questions Pawan

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Hyderabad: Several leaders from Rayalaseema became chief ministers of united Andhra Pradesh and present CM N Chandrababu Naidu and opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy are also from this region. But, why Rayalaseema still remains as a backward region. If I am voted to power, I’ll adopt Rayalaseema and develop this into a prosperous Rayalaseema by spending Rs50,000 crore over next 10 years.

“TDP chief and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is among several leaders from this Rayalaseema, who became CMs of united AP. Why they’re not developing this region. Our opposition leader YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy also belongs to Rayalaseema. But, no one developed Rayalaseema region. I ask you all to vote for Jana Sena. Once we’re voted to power, Jana Sena government will allocate Rs50,000 crore for Rayalaseema for next 10 years. We’ll make this backward region as prosperous Rayalaseema. We don’t want Pulivendula-mark ruling. I assure of Srikrishnadevaraya-mark ruling. Every assurance mentioned in the AP Reorganisation Act-2014 for Rayalaseema development will be implemented. We’ll implement a special package for industrial development in Rayalaseema,” remarked Pawan Kalyan.

The Jana Sena chief further stated that he likes Rayalaseema culture, accent and dialect. The assurances for Rayalaseema announced by him include Rs100-crore tourism hub, transforming the region into a cultural platform, development of Pedda Darga, which is known as south Indian Azmir, setting up a steel factory by Sai, etc.

Pawan Kalyan has further maintained that YS Jaganmohan Reddy is political partner of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.

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Establish India’s 2nd capital in Amaravati! CBN reacts on ‘Rayalaseema Declaration’!

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Nara Chandrababu Naidu reacted on the latest comments made by BJP leaders in Kurnool. Speaking on the ‘Rayalaseema Declaration’ made by BJP leaders, Chandrababu said, ‘it is me who developed Rayalaseema like never before in the past. It is our government that provided uninterrupted water to the drought-affected region. Even I am the son of this very same region.

Why is BJP talking about Rayalaseema today? What happened in the last four years? The BJP is playing conniptions in the name of Rayalaseema’.

Similarly, he also pointed fingers at BJP stating that we will come to know about the integrity and commitment of BJP if it establishes India’s second capital in Amaravati and Supreme Court Bench in Kurnool.

During the teleconference with key TDP leaders, it is understood that the CM asked the TDP leaders not to make any personal remarks on the BJP. ‘It is because the BJP at the Centre failed to fulfil its promises, we are fighting,’ said Chandrababu during his teleconference session. He also advised the TDP leaders on how to put pressure.

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Analysis: Will Rayalaseema declaration help BJP?

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As the political chasm between the Telugu Desam and the Bharatiya Janata Party widens over the alleged injustice to Andhra Pradesh in the central budget, both parties are coming up with newer strategies to counter the other. BJP announced the Rayalaseema Declaration, containing 16 demands at the Kurnool conclave attended by several BJP members.

What is this Rayalaseema declaration:

While TDP (and other parties) seeks justice to AP from Union government led by BJP, BJP seeks justice to Rayalaseema from state government led by TDP. Though this too is a political stunt, it has some valid points. Some of these demands are as below:

  • Setting up of a High Court (temporary and permanent) in Rayalaseema
  • Second capital in Rayalaseema
  • Rs 20,000 crore budgetary allocation for Rayalaseema to arrest the deaths of farmers and to control migration
  • White paper on the amount of money spent in AP in the last three-and-a-half years for Rayalaseema.
  • Carving out four more districts in the region – and make it to 8 districts region
  • Allocation of Rs 20,000 crore in 2018-19 Budget for completion of irrigation projects,
  • Completion of Galeru-Nagari, Handree-Neeva and Guru Raghavendra Swamy projects by 2018-19.
  • Revival of the Rayalaseema Development Board,
  • Fulfilment of 200 promises made to Rayalaseema in the manifesto of the TDP,
  • Reopening of industries that have been shut down in th region,
  • Creating a Rs 5,000 crore fund for welfare of the weaver community in the region

What is good in this declaration

Decentralization is always good thing to do. T360 analyzed the news of “Vijayawada railway zone instead of Vizag railway zone” in the same way. As TDP is focusing more on Capital region , North Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are feeling deprived. Analysts have pointed many times, centralized development will spur separatist movements. Advising for decentralization is always good.

Backwardness is prevalent in Rayalaseema despite the fact 90% of the chief ministers ruled AP in last few decades are from Rayalaseema. Undoing the previous mistakes will definitely help the region. Though the demands like second capital and more districts etc seem to be political and not of great use, completing irrigation projects like Galeru-Nagari and other projects will definitely boon to Rayalaseema. Reviving the shut industries also will help averting migration from the region.

TDP Rajya Sabha member from the region TG Venkatesh welcomed most of these demands.

What is bad in this

BJP demanding for a 2nd capital in the region. While the AP government doesn’t have money to build first capital itself, BJP demanding to “build” a second capital is just ludicrous.

The timing is definitely bad. BJP chose the voice on Rayalaseema, while entire AP is questioning BJP for not granting Special Category status. “Will this dilute SCS demand?” is the question ringing in ears of AP people.

Indian politicians seem to have learned a lot from British rulers. “Divide and rule” is the policy used by Britishers in 1905 Bengal division. When Britishers were not able to win Bengalis trust, they split Bengal and went in favor of one section over other hoping that section will stand by them. But of course that backfired. Even when BJP made Kakinada declaration for AP bifurcation in 1998, when there was no Telangana demand from people, it was the same strategy. BJP had no stakes in AP, so they wanted to get at least some footing in Telangana with 1998 declaration. Are they doing the same thing now for Rayalaseema.

Pure politics :

BJP seems to have planned to embarrass Chandra babu after AP budget in the exactly same way he did to Modi. By voicing for Rayalaseema demands just before budget, BJP has set ground perfectly for that. If TDP speaks Union budget did injustice to AP, BJP can speak state budget did injustice to Rayalaseema. To be frank, from political perspective, this is master stroke from BJP. How CBN handles this will be interesting to watch.

In AP, Telangana region has more muslims, followed by Rayalaseema and comparatively less muslims in Coastal Andhra region. Remember, in Nandyala bypolls, CBN avoided taking support of BJP leaders. So will Muslims in Rayalaseema vote for BJP even if they speak for the region, is a million dollar question.

Some anti-YSRCP people are doing a wild guess that, in case Jagan’s case speeds up and any drastic decision happens in those cases, he may have to go Jail like Sasikala. In such case, there will be lot of political space in Rayalaseema region and BJP planning to cash on that and preparing ground now. But this logic seems very far fetched. On the other hand, YSRCP fans are saying, BJP wants to get rid of TDP and ally jagan. So, in case BJP wants to ally with Jagan but they are unable to give Special category, Jagan and BJP wants something to offer people and BJP. So, instead of giving SCS, BJP will just give some funds for Rayalaseema region and ally with Jagan in 2019 elections.

Way forward:

First things first. If BJP is really committed for development of Rayalaseema, BJP has to demonstrate that commitment, by allotting more funds to backward districts of the region FROM UNION GOVERNMENT in the form of package (like Bundelkhand) or Backward region grant funds or special status to the region. Then, their declaration will be considered seriously by AP people. Without doing anything from their side (central government) to the region, if they speak for the region, it will be seen by just an attempt to either divert Special category status demand or to dilute it.

-Zuran

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Uncertainty looms over Kadapa Steel Plant

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YCP MP Y S Avinash Reddy this week in Lok Sabha asked whether the Government proposes to set up new steel plants including small and medium steel plants in various parts of the country, if so, the details thereof, State/UTwise including Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana;

In his written reply, the Minister of State for Steel Vishnu deo said, “The Government is not considering setting up of new steel plants in the country.”

In March, replying to similar question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister stated, “A Task Force has been constituted on 19 October 2016 comprising of representatives from the Central and State Government, SAIL, RINL, NMDC Limited, MECON Limited and MSTC Limited to consider the feasibility issues and to prepare a road map for setting up of Steel Plants in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana”

If the reports are to be believed, this task force has not visited the region. The region has enough resources to setup a steel plant as the Congress government gave permissions to Brahmani Steel Plant but was later scrapped by TDP due to irregularities.

The AP Re-Organisation Act 2014, in its Thirteenth Schedule promised the setting up of a steel plant in the public sector. SAIL examined the feasibility of establishing an Integrated Steel Plant in YSR Kadapa district. SAIL submitted the feasibility report on 02 December 2014 which said that setting up of steel plant is prima facie not financially viable.

The steel plant was supposed to provide employment opportunities to the skilled and unskilled youth in Kadapa. However, after the Jammalamadugu Minister Adinarayana reddy was inducted into the Cabinet, the people of the region are hopeful about the steel plant. On the contrary, TDP like any other issue stated in re-organisation act is not pressurizing its ally on seeking the steel plant.

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TG’s compromise formula for Rayalaseema

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TDP leader and Rayalaseema protagonist TG Venkatesh has a formula to deal with the resentment in the region, generated following the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s decision to locate the capital in Guntur district ignoring Kurnool. Locating second capital, he prescribes, in Rayalaseema will put an end to the antagonism developed in the region post bifurcation. His suggestion assumes significance in the backdrop of the spreading Rayalaseema movement, which is slowly gaining momentum with participation of many intellectuals from the region.

Venkatesh is the only TDP leader from Rayalaseem, who has been raising the capital issue. Venkatesh is the first leader to demand ‘one state or three states’ if the division is thrust on the people of the state of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. In his view, restoration of greater Rayalaseema consisting the existing four districts and parts of Nellore and Prakasam districts, would alone pave the path for the development of Rayalaseema as Rayalaseema and Andhra would be would be uneasy partners.
Now, having denied the capital city, the former minister is suggesting a way out to nip the Rayalaseema separate state movement in the bud. He says announcing second capital of the state for Rayalaseema is the best solution to prevent the Rayalaseema movement from transforming into a separate state movement. ” Separate state movement is not good for the state. Once the demand ignites the sentiment of the people, it would be difficult to extinguish, ” he warned the government. He said this in Kurnool in the presence important TDP leaders of the Kurnool district such as S V Mohan Reddy (MLC), Dhanareddy (former MLA, and chairman, district granthalaya samstha and former district TDP president Somisetti Venkateswarlu).

He cautioned Chandrababu Naidu not to ignore the Rayalaseema resentment as it had the potential to evolve into a separate statement. ” Another bifurcation movement won’t do good to the people of the state. So, conceding the second capital would address the Rayalaseema issues,” he said.
He also suggested Naidu to offer some more concessions to the angry Rayalaseema. They are: 1. Capital Amaravati should be made free zone. This is because, in the jobs generated in the Amaravati capital region, all regions should have equal share. if it is not made a free zone, according to Venkatesh, youth of backward districts would be at loss as they find it difficult to compete with the students of coastal districts. 2. The present development plan prepared for the Amaravati capital region should be decentralized. 3. The funds of special package being released by the centre under the special development plan for seven backward districts should be utilized for the intended purpose only and should not be diverted.
While dismissing the talk of his quitting the TDP, Venkatesh did not rule out the formation of new party in coordination with North Andhra protagonists, in case the government failed to do justice to Rayalaseema and other backward regions as per his compromise formula.

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TDP not to attend Rayalaseema-Tirupati meeting

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In a clear indication that TDP is going to attend the Rayalaseema meeting being convened by retired High Court Judge Justice P Lakshman Reddy, deputy chief minister K E Krishna Murthy said there was no movement whatsoever in Rayalaseeama. KE Krishnamurthy, who represents Pattikonda constituency, Kurnool district today said people were not supporting the so called protagonists of Rayalaseema movement. He would attend the meeting.

Krishna Murthy, though first expressed a meek disappointment at the denial of capital city status to Kurnool city, has been maintaining that TDP was committed to the development of the Region, especially Naidu had been sincere in his efforts to development region.

Justice Lakshman Reddy wrote a personal letter to Krishnamurthy asking him of attend the November 21, meeting being held at Tirupati. He personally spoke to many TDP leaders asking them to attend the meeting meant to give a clarity on the movement and nature of injustice being done to the region. But, the response is poor from the ruling party and its ally, BJP. Some told this correspondent Naidu had asked his comrades from Rayalaseema to ignore Justice Lakshman Reddy’s meeting.

Apart from this, there has been a feeling among the some sections of people that only disgruntled ‘Reddys’ from the region are trying to hijack the ‘movement’ to their advantage. This dampened the spirit of Rayalaseema movement among the non-Reddy communities in the region.

For the people like KE Krishna Murthy, a leadership by Reddy’s could be one of the discouraging points. Because, when the first Rayalaseema padayatra took place in mid eighties, during NTR regime, KE Krishnamurhty was minister of major irrigation. The Padayatra, from Penukonda in Anantapur district to Pothireddypadu, Kurnool district, was led YS Rajasekhar Reddy, Mysoora, Reddy, DL Ravindra Reddy etc. Pothireddypadu was the off-take point for Krishna water to Telugu Gangan and SRBC.

Now, when KE is deputy chief minister history is repeating in the form of a Rayalaseema movement in a different from.
Now too KE doesn’t want to associate himself with Rayalaseema movement.

When asked if he was planning to attend the Tiruapti meeting, he replied in the negative by stating there was no movement in Rayalaseema. “The people are not supporting the movement. Telugu Desam Government is ensuring that all regions of sate get equal importance in the development.”

Since the day one, he said, the chief minister Naidu had been taking steps to ground all projects in Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor districts. All the allegations of injustice to Rayalaseema were irrational, he said. “There is no question of participating in the Rayalaseema meeting at Tirupati on November 21,” he said categorically.

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Justice Lakshman Reddy demands R’seema quota

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The Rayalaseema movement is still in a nebulous state. There has been no clarity among the protagonists of the movement as to the objective of the agitation.  Youth and students are chanting Rayalaseema mantra. The man on the street of Rayalaseema is convinced that some injustice is being done to the region. Dozens of organization have sprung up in various parts of the region. Poetry and short stories as well as other art forms are being used to  give a definitive articulation to the aspirations of the people. Still, lack of clarity on the goal is affecting  consolidation of the movement. Some say separate Rayalaseema state is the solution while others raise their voice for union territory status.  The number of people, who advocate justice to the region  with a statutory backing while remaining in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is also significant.  In this connection, Jinka Nagaraju of telugu360.com spoke to Justice P Lakshman Reddy  to get the feel of the ongoing emotional commotion in the four districts of Rayalaseema. Justice Laksman Reddy, a retired judge of AP High Court,  is a member of the group of intellectuals, who are  organizing a meeting at  Tirupati on November 21 on the future of the movement .

Excerpt of the interview:

Q: We hear and read a lot about Rayalaseema now. You have planned a meeting on November 21 at Tirupati. What exactly is happening Rayalaseema?

Justice Reddy: There has been an all-round acknowledgement that Rayalaseema is getting a raw deal in every aspect of social life-jobs, education, institutions, projects, funds allocation etc. The capital, chief minister Naidu has planned at Amaravati, is a blow on the Rayalaseema. This realization is cause for the present unrest in the region. The unrest can be seen both on the ground and social media. Many new organizations have been floated by students, youth and others voluntarily-   a welcome trend indeed. They are raising voice against the injustice being done to the region. But, no main stream political party is directly involved in this unrest.  We feel, a time has arisen to streamline these Rayalaseema forces in order to exert pressure on the government to put an end to the injustice from being meted out in future.  Our meeting is basically, to bring the forces of Rayalaseema togetherto see if an umbrella organization like JAC could be formed.

Q: Who are attending the meeting?

Justice  Reddy: Our aim is to create a non-party forum  for Rayalaseema to raise the voice for justice. We have invited  all political parties. I have written a letter to CPI, CPM, TDP, Congress, BJP and about 25 people’s organizations have been invited. I have no idea of how many would attend. I learn BJP has decided not to attend. Similarly, I spoke to some TDP leaders and I figure out, they are unlikely to attend following chief minister Naidu’s tour to Kurnool and Kadapa. It is not that these leaders  are not interested in Rayalaseema. But, they are constrained by the party’s programs.

Q: Has there been any change in attitude of government after the growing unrest in the region?

Justice Reddy: Why alone in government. I have noticed a perceptible change in the attitude of government and political parties, who never spoke of Rayalaseema issues separately. All are coming out of their shells having seen the unrest in the social media.  Social media reflects the depth of the sentiment. So, Naidu planned a tour to Kurnool and announced slew of programs. He asked the people to believe him and he is also a man from Rayalaseema. YS Jagan, who always clubbed Rayalaseema with other regions while demanding justice, is now talking about Rayalaseema demands. Many individual leaders DL Ravindra Reddy, Ananta Vekatrami Reddy, M V Mysoora Reddy, C Ramachandraiah, Sailajanath have started talking about Rayalaseema issues.  Similarly, political parties have realized that if they don’t raise the Rayalaseema issues now, they would get isolated from the youth. It’s a change. This is the background against which we are planning the Tirupati meeting. We have also invited MLA,MPs, MLCs to the meeting.

Q: What is the objective of the meeting and what are your demands.

Justice Reddy: Our objective is to build a common platform like JAC to take forward the movement. We can’t say what would emerge from the meeting. Our principal objective is to ensure no further injustice done to the region. As for demands-

*Rayalaseema is a backward region. It is an isolated region and is away from the capital. Impact of capital is felt minimally here and majority of the people are poor. In the present environment, the students of this region can’t compete with  students of coastal regions. So, we need regional quota in jobs and admissions to educational institutes.  This is not new for Telugu people. Telangana, also a backward region once, had fought and achieved quota in jobs and admission. We need   constitutionally protected regional quota in jobs and admissions. In the absence of such mechanism injustice bound to happen. We learn about 3000 temporary staff have been recruited for Amaravati. Had the  quota system been  followed , Rayalaseema people also would have got recruited for Amaravati works. Now, we are told only locals are chosen. Is it not injustice for the youth and students of Rayalaseema? What if tomorrow, the government wants to regularize them in recognition of their services for the capital Amaravati?

* Amaravati is being developed as World Class city by pumping huge amount funds. Do it,  we have no objection. But, a proportionate amount should be allocated for the development of Rayalaseema. Entire amount should not be spent on a single city and leave nothing for other cities.

*  A statutory consultative mechanism should be evolved engaging all political parties for the identification of the projects for the state. Schemes and project should not be taken up as per whims of a single leader .

* Projects or units with adequate employment potential should be located in the region. Developing  jobless projects in the lands of Rayalaseema is not good. See, for example, government is planning solar power plants in thousands of acres in Rayalaseema. And units that manufacture these panels and equipment is located in Coastal region. Compare the employment potential of these two units. Is it not injustice to Rayalaseeema?

* Similarly, instead of development “Nava Ngaralu” (nine industrial cities) around Amaravati, they should be decentralized around the state. We don’t accept too much concentration in Amaravati at the cost of Rayalaseema.

These are some of the issues , we want to discuss in the meeting.

Q : There is some talk of separate Rayalaseema? what is your take on this?

Justice Reddy: We, the retired individuals, are not the organizers of agitation.  We are not leaders. Political parties, which have  network and cadre force can alone organize movements. We are trying to bring all parties and organization on to a single platform above political ideologies. I don’t want to hazard a guess on what shape the movement would take  in future. Let us first bring about unity? Unity is important because political parties are working amid compulsions and constraints. Let them first overcome the party constraints and only  then can we talk about the future course of action.

 

 

 

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Crucial R’seema meeting scheduled on Nov 14 at Tirupati

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Various outfits that sprang up in the recent past in Rayalaseema region in the wake of development of capital at Amaravati at the cost of Kurnool in Rayalaseema are meeting at Tirupati on November 14 to form a Joint Action Committee (JAC) and to give a clarity to the movement.

Dozens of organization have come into existence demanding justice for backward Rayalaseema with many economic demands such as special package, more water and early completion of ongoing projects. Some intellectuals in the region now are attempting to streamline the movement to give it a perspective. But a concerted effort is amiss as they are scattered and independent of each other.

According to the organizers, the proposed JAC will agitate against deployment of all funds and resources for development of capital city Amaravati and the already developed coastal region at the cost of the backward districts in the region.

“Nothing concrete— be it in terms of irrigation projects, industries, share in funds sanctioned for development of backward districts or educational institutions to benefit local people and students, has come to for the region. On the contrary majority of seats in Padavathi medical college at Tirupati were allotted to outsiders and depriving local students of their rightful share in violation of Article 371(D) ,” said Justice P.Lakshama Reddy, Justice A Gopal Rao, former IG A Hanumantha Reddy, who have been trying to streamline the movement, said.

“About 25 civic organization , students’ associations, political leaders irrespective of their party affiliations have been invited to the meeting scheduled on November 14.The objective of the meeting is to prepare a plan of action to build pressure on state and central governments to stop steps that affect the growth and other prospects of backward region,” they said.

The main demands of the protagonists of Rayalaseema movement are:

1. Implementation of promises made in 1937 under Sribagh Pact for all-round development of backward Rayalaseema and bring it on par with coastal Andhra region in every sector.

2. Development of Kurnool as the capital as it was the original capital of Andhra State before its merger with Hyderabad State to for Andhra Pradesh.

They warned that if the government did not respond suitably , it would soon witness intense resistance movement with a chant for another division of the State.

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Rayalaseema caught in severe drought

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A stark reality got buried in the extravaganza of the Amaravati foundation laying ceremony. this was the severe drought in the Rayalaseema region. This is evident from the mandals chief minister Naidu himself declared as drought hit. The state government declared 196 mandals or sub-district clusters of 10 villages or more are drought affected in the state and 150 of the drought-affected mandals are from Rayalseema which 234 mandals. Among the Rayalaseema districts, Kurnool tops the list with 40 mandals while Anantapur and Chittoor stand next with 39 mandals each. In Kadapa 33 mandals are facing drought. There are 664 mandals in the state. Chief Minister Naidu said the assessment of rainfall this year show that 196 mandals are drought-affected and assured the people that his government was working on contingency plans.

Out of nine districts in coastal region the drought is felt in limited areas and that too in districts only. They are Prakasam (21), Nellore (14) and Srikakulam (10). During southwest monsoon season (June 1 to September 30), coastal Andhra Pradesh received 639.4 mm rainfall against the average of 580.8 mm, but Rayalaseema received 360.6 mm as against the average of 398.6 mm.

The Rayalaseema farmers have been agitating about the impending drought problem and release of water from Srisailam reservoir. They have been opposed to the release of water into Nagarjuna Sagar from dead storage of the reservoir which would deny the water for drinking purpose to the region.

Could it be the reason for lukewarm response for the celebrations of Amaravati on October 22. Past two or three months, there has been no talk of the looming drought in the corridors of power except world-class celebration of Amaravati splurging people’s money including that of people from Rayalaseema.

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Mysoora disowns capital Amaravati

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While YSR party president Jaganmohan Reddy is treading cautiously on Amaravati issue, his colleagues from Rayalaseema are not. In a clear indication of difference of opinion in the party on Amaravati,  senior YSR Congress leader M V  Mysoora Reddy  disowned the new capital under construction. It was a real estate venture encouraged by the state government, he said in a panel discussion in news channel. He ridiculed the capital tagline ” people’s capital”.  “Urban affairs expert Sivaramkrishnan categorically recommended against  going in for  capital construction between Vijayawada and Guntur. But the present government with vengeance has selected the fertile region for the construction of the capital.” he said in the discussion.

Talking to  ‘telugu360.com’ later Mysoora Reddy said ” We (Rayalaseema people) have nothing to do with the so called capital Amaravati. It his  (Chief minister) capital and he is building in the way that pleases him,” he said.

Jaganmohan Reddy on the other hand has never expressed his views by capital Amaravati, though it clearly violated the  Sir Bagh pact and harmed the interests of the people.  Jagan is hamstrung on Amaravati because, any negative stand on  Amaravati would alienate the party in Krishna and Guntur districts, where the party has honorable presence.

But, the Jagan’s silence on Rayalaseema has not gone down well in Rayalaseema.   Some think, fielding of Mysoora Reddy on Rayalaseema is to reassure the people of Rayalaseema that Jagan’s silece was only a tactful and the party is committed to Rayalaseema. Party circles say Mysoora Reddy is opposed to Jagan’s ambiguous stand on Amaravati and is coming out now as the R-Sentiment is spreading like wildfire in the region.

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Is ‘Rayalaseema Spring’ on the rise?

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There has been an explosion of cultural regionalism in Rayalaseema. The region of four districts, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor, which evolved into a cultural region due to political and geographical factors, for the first in the past 50 years, is, not craving for attention, but asserting itself for an identity.

Never in the past has Rayalaseema had an occasion to peep into itself to discover what it is. Even though the backwardness of Rayaseema had been talked about, it was confined to the politicians and some intellectuals. The issue had always revolved around water. Consequently, the Rayalaseema issue, having been reduced to the water and irrigation, failed to move the man on the Rayalaseema streets, to discover himself. The Rayalaseema debate had been conducted within the frame work of either Andhra state or Andhra Pradesh to boot. The talk of Rayalaseema as separate cultural identity outside Circar and Telangana was unheard of and if at all there was one, it was too feeble and confined to the offices of politicians and writings of some intellectuals. For the first time, the youth, under nobody’s leadership, are spontaneously raising Ralaseema slogan in countless dimensions .

While political parties are busily engaged in survival politics, these independent youth are emerging like springs (springs, buggalu, are this region’s unique feature) everywhere. The internet has become the arena for Rayalaseema debate. Facebook and twitter bear testimony to the width and breadth of the debate. The groups formed under Rayalaseems theme are innumerable. While it took Telangana decades to coalesce the sentiment into a mass movement, for Rayalaseema, it is happening in just 15 months. The more chief minister Chandrababu Naidu talked of Amaravati, the more the alienation among the youth of this land , where Telugu kingdom existed mush before Eastern Chalukyas. Rayalaseema youth and students suffered relative isolation for ages because of poor communication network. The distance among villages and towns coupled with rough terrain separated them precluding any social action. The distance demolition caused by the internet technologies has united them in virtual world, networking the youth and students , even though separated by continents and states. One can see the dozens groups campaigning for the Rayalaseema identity. The common thread among the divergent social media groups is the unity of the purpose and unanimity of the demand. Everybody is conscious of the futility of demand for special category status.

They display  amazing unanimity in the demand for the location of the capital. These youth, who have been brought up in a relatively agitation free private school ecology, suddenly find themselves in the thick of an issue that started agitating every heart. Their views are expressed in the form of Rayalaseema, Ralaseema Galam, Rayalaseema Rashtram, Ralayalaseema Bhahujan Samiti, Rayalaseema union territory, Rayalaseem Rashtram, Rayalaseema Abhivruddhi Vedika, Rayalaseema Pariraskhana Samiti, Jai Rayalaseema etc. Given the intensity of Rayalaseema cultural regionalism one can easily visualize the shape of the things to come.

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Black Day observed in Kurnool

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Rayalaseema Vidyavantula Vedika, a forum of intellectuals from Rayalaseema, today, observed black day  protesting the building up of state capital in Andhra region against the spirit of Sri Bagh pact reached between Andhra and Rayalaseema leaders, as a  precondition to demand separate Andhra state from Madras state. The leaders also burnt the copies of GO No 121 issued recently by the Irrigation department which, they said,  would undermine the interests of Rayalaseema.

As per the Sri Bagh agreement, the capital of Andhra state,  which was restored following the division of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, should be located at Kurnool,  the leaders demanded. The leaders staged a dharna opposite Kurnool collectorate and vowed to intensify their agitation demanding the capital be located at Kurnool. They protested the laying of foundation stone for capital city at Amaravati and opposed the Prime Minister Modi‘s participation in the program which according to them had no people’s approval.

They deplored that the present government, instead of assuaging the hurt sentiments of the region, was perpetuating the injustice being meted out to the region.

The leaders cited the recent GO (No 121)issued recently to show how the government was planning to divert Krishna water to Nellore district through Kundu river from Pamulapadu village in Kurnool district. They said the GO was a clear provocation and indicative of government hostile attitude towards Rayalaseema. Region’s leaders Somasekhar Sarma (noted writer), Ravi Prakash (Rayalaseema JAC), Raghava Reddy (Rayalaseema Vidya Vantula Vedika), Bojja Dasarath Rami Reddy (Rayalaseema Sagu  Niru Sadhana Samiti),

Pinaka Pani (Virasam), Subbarayudu (Kula Nirmulana Samiti) Munemma (mahilala Hakkula Samiti) etc participated.

 

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Rayalaseema to observe black day on October 22

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Rayalaseema Vidyavantula Vedika (RVV)today called upon the people of the region to boycott the Amaravati foundation stone laying ceremony scheduled on October 22, 2015. Issuing a statement, the Kunool district unit of RVV said they had decided to stage a dharna on at 11 am on Vijayadasami day protesting the denial of capital city to the region.

“As per the Sri Bagh pact, the capital should be located in Rayalaseema. It was indeed located in Kurnool in 1953 when Andhra state was carved out of Telugu areas of composite Madras state. The region sacrificed the capital for the sake of the unity of Telugu people in 1956,when Andhra Pradesh was created by merging Andhra state and Hyderabad state. Since the Andhra state is  restored again after the bifurcation, capital should be restored to Kurnool. Shifting the capital to fertile lands of Amaravati region is betrayal of Rayalaseema,” Arun Sarma, a spokesperson of RVV, noted writer from the region , said. While denying water and funds for Rayalaseema, Arun said, the state government was spending public money like water on a ceremony that lasts just few hours. ” Laying foundation stone for Amaravati will bury the hopes of Rayalaseema once for all. This wound inflicted on the region won’t heal up,” he said.

Under these circumstances, Arun said, they RVV had no option but to demand separate Rayalaseema state to chart an independence course in future. He urged the people to participate in the dharna in a big way.

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R’seema perspective: Can Jagan claim YSR legacy?

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O P N I O N

-Kuradi Chandraseakhara Kalkura

Few crocodile tears would have been shed when the fasting President of the YSRCP and the Leader of the Opposition in the A.P.Legislative Assembly was taken into custody, admitted in the Guntur General Hospital, discharged after a thorough medical examination and safely landed in Lotus Pond, his sweet home. It is well known that his demand is Special Category state (SCS)Status for A.P. Almost all the major political parties are demanding the same. Each party has its own strategy and plan of action. But none of them are prepared to accept certain realities. A Justifiable undercurrent in Rayalaseema, grave injustice that is being done to the region, is not addressed by any one. Both the Srikrishna Commission and the Sivaramakrishnan Committee have categorically stated the backwardness of the region and stressed the need to develop it on par with other regions. The neglect is being almost perpetuated with impunity. The promised institutions and the development are being allotted to other places.

Most of the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, including the present one Chandrababu Naidu have been from Rayalaseema. At present, except Hari Babu of BJP (Visakhapatnam), the Presidents of all the major political parties are from Rayalaseema; Madhu of CPM from Nellore, considered part of the Greater Rayalaseema. But none of them raise their voice in favor of their region. They fear losing the ground in other regions. Let me go a flashback in A.P politics.

Prakasam Pantulu, in 1953 roared and selected Kurnool as the Capital of the newly formed Andhra State. NT Rama Rao vowed to have the Telugu University at Srisailam; foiled by the later Governments. In 1971 the Congress (Ruling) led by Indira Gandhi swept the elections in the whole country. Dr. Chenna Reddy attracted the national attention when he formed Telangana Praja Samithi, demanding separate Telangana in 1970 and won ten and lost only four seats in Telangana region in 1971 General Elections to the Lok Sabha. (Nizamabad, Adilabad and Khammam to Congress and Miryalaguda to CPM). Tables were turned against her in the 1977 General Elections as she was unseated from the Prime Ministership; losing her strong hold Rae Bareli to Raj Narain. A Shrewd Ms. Gandhi invited Chenna Reddy to head the Congress in the general elections to the State Legislature in 1978. Dr Reddy became the Chief Minister of the United A.P. Dr.Rajasekhar Reddy led the Rayalaseema agitation from 1985-89 to focus his leadership capacity. He had to wait for nearly two decades to occupy the aspired Chief Ministership of A.P.
No political party is raising the Rayalaseema issues. Agitations for Special Status for A.P. is not the solution for Rayalaseema problems. They deserve to be addressed separately. In case “Special Status’ is granted to the A.P. where is the guarantee that it will be decentralised? Will there be no step motherly treatments? In all probabilities all the benefits under the Special Status will be knocked off by the Coastal Andhra only. Unless a special package, with Constitutional guarantee, inlcuding water is awarded to Rayalaseema there is bound to be a Telangana type of agitation, for a separate Rayalaseema State sooner than later. The simmering discontent will reach the boiling point and an agitation is imminent.
The crux of the problem of Rayalaseema is water. The water share of the region is around 20% and if all the pending projects are completed, it will not cross 50%. Whereas for North Coastal Andhra it is 50% at present and 80% projected. There is a ray of hope from the most unexpected quarters. In a surprise move, BJP, MLC from A.P. Some Veerraju hit out at the TDP Government accusing if of misleading the people and the Centre on Ploavaram and Pattiseema. He also advised the YSRCP to question the TDP why the Government had failed to supply even drinking water to the Rayalaseema region and asked its chief Jaganmohan Reddy to stop blaming the centre unnecessarily. The issue, water is a pertinent one for it is the crux of the probelm that Rayalaseema is facing. The much hyped Pattiseema is a fraud on Rayalaseema. Though the project was inaugurated with much fan fare, even nearly a month after it has not yielded the desired results. Apart from the faulty commissioning of the Project, because of some other administrative and technical hurdles Rayalaseema is not in a position to get the projected benefits.

If Rayalaseema is to get the announced benefits, it must get the ‘Assured water’ and ‘not the surplus water.’ At the same time the declared storage level at Srisailam to flow down shall be raised from 850 Ft. and revised as per the original design at 854 ft. For all the beneficiary canals of Rayalaseema, K.C., SRBC, Telugu Ganga, Handri – Nivva, and Galeru – Nagari, water is discharged through Pothireddypadu Head Regulator of the Srisailam Dam. Forcefully defending the proposal to increase its discharging capacity, on the floor of the Assembly on 6th Oct.2005, the strong man of Rayalaseema, Dr. Rajasekhar Reddy, the then Chief Minister said: “The neglect of irrigation projects by the previous regime was giving scope for separatist tendencies and asserted that his Government would spend Rs.46,000 crores in the coming years and complete all pending projects”. The same charge is being leveled by the present Government against the previous one. In the political name game mutual accusations have not brought any concrete results.

Why the son, Jagan, claiming his father’s legacy is silent about the issue. It is Rayalaseema, particularly, Kadapa and Kurnool Districts those gave him the political life. It nursed him; rared him. groomed him and nurtured him. He is fearing apathy from Coastal Andhra. He is not accepted there and will be rejected in Rayalaseema. It is being discussed that Babu is neglecting Rayalaseema; diverting all the benefits announced to these districts to other districts in the State. Even though its capacity to discharge is increased declared storage level to flow down is not increased. It remains at 850 ft. Whereas the water is discharged through the Regulator only at 854 Ft. Rayalaseema will get the benefit only when the storage level is increased to the optimum level. If there is early monsoon and seasonal rain there is possibility that the water can be released in time for the Karif Season. If there is shortage of rain in the catchment area, even drinking water cannot be discharged till the outflow level is raised to 854 ft. This season Karif season is lost in Rayalaseema. Though there is enough water in Nagarjunasagar for drinking purposes, 7 Tmcf is released from Srisailam with that pretext.

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“Rayalaseema sitting on powder keg”

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Kavuri Sambasivarao, arguably a decent politician from Andhra Pradesh, has become the first senior leader from coastal Andhra to warn that Rayalaseema is sitting on powder keg. He has become the first coastal leader to realize and to defend Rayalaseema’s primacy over coastal districts, in so many words, as far as water needs are concerned. Rao is one politico who is not known to indulge in showmanship in the politics. In parliament he was not seen anytime part of the shouting brigade. The only stigma in his career is he left the Congress in wake of bifurcation decision by the party leadership and joined BJP, Congress’ arch rival.

At one point of time, he acquiesced to the bifurcation decision in order to prevent to tension grow unending between the regions of Telagnana and Andhra regions. Now he took a stand that priority must be given to the Rayalaseem in releasing water to the region. He also said water should be release to the coastal districts only after meeting the needs of Rayalaseema which badly deserves now. He demanded the state government that it should prioritize water release. This is sane thinking of mature politician. To preserve the integrity of Andhra Pradesh, leaders from developed coastal region should take pro-backward region approach. Sambasivarao, a veteran parliamentarian from Andhra Pradesh, knows this pretty well. While on tour in Rayalaseem region, he said in Kurnool, Srisailam water should be released to coastal Andhra region only after meeting the needs of the Rayalaseema.

“If the government does not set its priorities properly, a separatist movement is bound to erupt in Rayalaseema,” he warned. Not only in water, he says, priority should be given to Rayalaseema even in spending the central aid on the on-going projects. “Centre has released so far Rs 24,000 crore as finacial assistance to the state. This amount should first go Rayalaseema in order to completed the pending projects,” he said accompanied by BJP leader Katasani Rambhupal Reddy and Kanna Lakshminarayana.

“Many projects in Rayalaseem are waiting to be completed. The need of the hour is to completed them. BJP will exert pressure on the centre to come to the rescue of the state in the form according special status to the state,” he said.

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AP Cong regaining the lost ground?

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Andhra Pradesh Congress, after successfully conducting a campaign against the NDA and TDP governments for special category status (SCS), is now concentrating on broad-basing the party in the state. The state leadership is also successful in making the people forget and look forward for better future by taking up the campaign on how the NDA government backed out on the compensatory assurance of SCS, the UPA government announced to make up for the loss of AP following the bifurcation. The elusive SCS has become raison d’être for Congress to become a stree-smart party. Now, with the good will generated by its campaigns on SCS, farmers suicide, forcible land acquisition, non-completion of Rayalaseema projects etc, the party is on the path to regain the lost ground among various sections of society especially weaker section. If public turn out any indication for the influence a party enjoys among the people, the Rythu Garjana, APCC president N Raghuvira Reddy organized in Jaganreddy Gudem is super hit. Acknowledging the efforts Raghuvira putting to keep the party back on tracks, the AICC deputed AICC general secretary Thirunavukkarasu to rytu garjana held in J.Gudem. For a party which earned the wrath of the people for its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh and which drew blank in 2014 election, the response it is getting to its meeting is amazing. Now, the party wants to take up the cause of backward classes in Andhra Pradesh. It came up for the discussion in the general body meeting held in Vijawada on Sunday. Tirunavukkarasu the huge response” we are getting to our programs shows how vexed are the people with anti-people policies of the TDP government and who knows what might happen in the next three and a half years.”

He and other Congress party leaders attending the meeting took objection to recent comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat regarding reservations and said that reservations in the present form should continue, as the main objective of those reservations – a level playing field for all – has not yet been achieved. They wanted the TDP, which is BJP’s ally in the state, and the main opposition party YSRC to make their stance clear on the subject of reservations.

APCC president Raghuveera Reddy said state government had failed the BCs if one goes by the track record of the government in the last one and a half year. ” It has not implemented even a single promise of the 120 poll promises TDP president Chandrababu Naidu made to the BCs in its election manifesto,” Raghuvira said.

According to Raguvira the broken promises are :

* BC Commission is yet see the light of the day.

* Much touted BC sub-plan is yet to take a proper shape, budgetary

* Did not deliver on the promised 100 seats.

* No special package for artisanal communities especially weaver.

The APCC took objection to recent comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat with regard to reservations. The party said, ” The reservations in the present form should continue, as the main objective of the reservations is to provide a level playing field for those who are socially, culturally backward sections, which has not been achieved yet. It is high time that ruling TDP, BJP, it’s ally in the state, and the main opposition party YSRC announced their stand in unequivocal terms on reservations.”

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Rayalaseema farmers stage Dharna for water

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BJP Rayalaseema leaders in association with federation of independent farmers associations today observed Satyagram at Srisailam dam site demanding government to keep water level sufficiently in the reservoir so that water could be used for Rayalaseema needs. The leaders and about 500 farmers reached Srisailam on Yatra that started on October 1, 2015, from Gorukallu reservoir demanding maintenance of MDDL of Srisailam reservoir at 854 feet.

The leaders protested the release of water downstream from Srisailam project ignoring the drinking water needs of Rayalaseem districts. The leaders said this was injustice to region which had already been ignored in all respects. Rayalaseema Saguneeti Sadhanna Samithi, Nandi Rythu Samakya, BKS, Paddy Producers organidatikn, Kundhu Porata samithi are among the farmers’ groups participated in the program. Katasani Ramabhupal Reddy, Pocha Brahmananda Reddy, Yerva Rama Chandra Reddy, Pichaih Yadav, Sudhakar, Kamani Venugopal, Arikatla Baskar around 700 farmers and myself have joined Yatra at Gorukallu Reservoir on October 1, 2015 .

The Dharna at Srisailam commenced from 10 am went up to evening.

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Grand canyon of India to enter school syllabus

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Andhra Pradesh government will include the history Gandikota, the forgotten historical place of Rayalaseema, in the school syllabus. This was revealed by HRD minister Ganta Srinvasarao today at the fort near Jammalamadugu, Kadapa district. Ganta along with ministers Palle Raghunatha Reddy and Pratipati Pullarao, today inaugurated the Gandikota utsavalu today to popularize the beautiful fort on the banks of river Penna. Located in an area known as the grand canyon of India, Gadikota derives the meaning from two words gandi (gorge) and kota (fort). While the fort lies atop the hills on one side, River Penna meanders deep down the gorge, creating spectacular view.

Guarded by huge entrance gate of 20 feet height and 101 bastions over 40 feet height the fort is believed to have been build in 13 century. French traveler Tavernier was greatly impressed the striking beauty of the fort and its location. He said Gandikota resembled Hampi of Vijayanagara empire in its grandeur.

After inaugurating the festival, the minister revealed that the government has plans to develop a tourism circuit around Gandikota.The ministers have released the theme song of the fort.

Gandikota_Fort_Deccan_Forts

During YS Rajasekhar Reddy time, the state government planned to develop an “Integrated Tourism & Township Project” in 800 hectares of land near Gandikota and amidst serene natural surroundings. The Site identified next to Gandikota Fort, is part of a rich historical heritage with spectacular and unique natural features. Massive cliffs provide a picture-perfect setting for the Penna River and a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the expanse.The government even invited global tenders to develop the area into tourism spot. But, the project had been shelved after the death of YSR. Now, the TDP is planning to revive the project. The ministers said every year on September 26, the Gandikota tourism festival would be celebrated.

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Tirupati to become Mobile phone production hub

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In a major leap forward, three India’s leading mobile producing companies are going to set shop in Tirupati’s IT SEZ. The companies, Micromax, celkon and Karbonn will start rolling out mobile phones in a couple of months. The representatives of these companies have signed an MoU with state government yesterday in the presence of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. This is the first step in chief minister Naidu’s plan to divert the electronic industry towards Rayalaseema, which the CM is planning to convert into a manufacture-zone. The state is targeting manufacturing of 6-7 million phones from next year.

Micromax, Celkon and Karbonn are the first companies to enter the Tirupati IT SEZ located near airport. According to Dr P Krishnaiah, chairman, Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), these companies are expected to provide 6000 jobs in their assembling units. APIIC has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing the land to companies interested to invest in Andhra Pradesh.

Talking telugu360.com Dr Krishnaiah said they would be given land upto 20 ac. each. “These companies have promised to start work immediately. Its a boon to local youth, mostly women,” he said, The entry of the mobile manufacturing units, he said, would pave the way for the for other companies ro look towards Tirupati IT SEZ.

“Tirupati is well-connected. With number of government and private engineering colleges and polytechnic colleges, the area has the potential to supply enough manpower also. We are expecting more companies to follow the mobile producers,” Dr Krishniah said.

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