Hyderabad, March 5 (IANS) Popular film actor and Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan threatened on Thursday to launch an agitation to oppose any forcible acquisition of land from the farmers by the Andhra Pradesh government for building a new state capital.
He visited some villages in Guntur district and interacted with villagers to know about their problems.
When some of them complained as to how the authorities were forcing them to part with their land, the actor-politician said he was ready to fight on their behalf if their land was being acquired forcibly.
“If necessary, I will go on fast-unto-death to protect your land,” Pawan told the farmers. He said the state capital should not leave tears in the eyes of farmers.
The actor’s remarks came as a jolt to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as they came only a few days after he met Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to express solidarity with him over the raw deal allegedly meted out to the state by the Centre.
Pawan, who had campaigned for TDP-BJP alliance in last year’s elections, also urged the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to fulfil its commitments for the state’s development.
Meanwhile, Naidu told reporters in Hyderabad that land was not forcibly acquired for the state capital. “I don’t know under what context he (Pawan Kalyan) said this but farmers have voluntarily come forward to give their lands for the state capital,” he maintained.
The TDP chief said that under the land pooling system, the state had mobilised about 33,000 acres of land for the capital city. He claimed that nowhere in a democracy was such a huge amount of land pooled.
Observing that the government was building the state capital for the Andhra people’s bright future, he said the farmers would benefit from the land pooling system and the package announced by the government.
Naidu pointed out how his efforts to develop Hyderabad during his nine-year rule in undivided Andhra Pradesh led to a huge jump in the land value and boosted the economy.
The chief minister said the political parties should have vision. “Communist parties are saying only 1,000 acres of land is enough for the capital city but they require 10 acres land for their own party offices,” he said.
Kalyan’s visit to the capital city region came close on the heels of a similar visit by YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
The leader of the opposition had assured his full cooperation to farmers in their fight against the land pooling processes.
Jagan asked Naidu to change his policy in implementing the land pooling process in the interest of farmers.