Vijayawada, Sep 24 (IANS) Amid tension and restrictions imposed by the police, the 'Maha Padyatra' by farmers of Amaravati region entered Gudivada in Krishna district on Saturday.
Apprehending breach of peace, the police tightened security in the constituency represented by former minister and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) MLA Kodali Nani.
Leaders of other parties, including the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and supporters of Amaravati farmers were stopped from reaching the town.
Krishna district SP Joshua said since the high court has laid down the condition that not more than 600 people can participate in the padyatra, outsiders will not be allowed from joining the march.
Over 300 policemen were deployed in Gudivada town. The police set up barricades and imposed other restrictions to prevent any untoward incident.
The SP said that police would deal firmly with any attempt to create a law and order problem. He also asked the organisers to abide by the conditions laid down by the high court while allowing the padyatra.
The police in other parts of Krishna town stopped leaders and supporters of Amaravati farmers heading towards Gudivada.
TDP leader Chintameneni Prabhakar was stopped at Duggirala. He said though the high court has given permission for the padyatra, the government is trying to project it as a crime.
Farmers and other people from 29 villages of Amaravati region had launched the Maha Padayatra 2.0 on September 12, demanding development of Amaravati as the only state capital.
Organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi (APS) and Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Amaravati farmers, the long march began from Venkatapalem, coinciding with the 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 km.
After coming to power in 2019, the YSRCP government had reversed the decision of the previous TDP government to develop Amaravati as the only state capital. Instead, it decided to develop three state capitals -- Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.
Under the three-capital formula of the 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 the 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 the Rayalaseema region.
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