Trichy or Madurai? TN Ministers split over which should be second capital!
Galatta | Aug 20, 2020, 05:59 pm
Tamil Nadu has for long been one of the most important states in South India and right from the times of the legendary actor MG Ramachandran's tenure as Chief Minister, there have been talks of having another capital for the state. In 2004, there was a huge debate with the demand for a second capital, growing big among the political fraternity. Now, the issue has come out again, after two AIADMK ministers - Sellur K Raju and RB Udhayakumar have been demanding that Madurai be made the second capital of the state. Minister Sellur Raju had said that the late MGR's choice for a second capital was Madurai and Minister RB Udhayakumar had passed a resolution at a district unit meeting of the party, demanding the CM & Deputy CM to announce the temple city as the second capital.
Some people feel that this is a political gimmick to garner votes, ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, as ordaining a capital of a state is a highly time-intensive and elaborate process. However, Minister Udhayakumar denied these allegations and stated that the demand has been placed over necessity for growth in the Southern districts and added that there were no political inclinations behind it! He added that cities in the South of Tamil Nadu are about 8-10 years behind Chennai, in terms of development and also that Chennai has a population of over 1 Crore and providing basic infrastructure was becoming challenging. However, with calls for Madurai on one side, State Tourism Minister Vellamandi N Natarajan (who is the MLA of the Trichy East constituency), has called for Trichy to be made the second capital of TN. He has stated that the late MGR also dreamt of the same and wanted Trichy to be the second capital of Tamil Nadu!
The idea for a second capital seems to have re-emerged, following Andhra Pradesh's decision to have three state capitals. MGR had suggested in 1983 to make Trichy the second capital, considering its geographical location but this suggestion fizzled out after two successive droughts in the Cauvery river, which was caused by the water dispute with Karnataka. Now, with the AIADMK ministers being divided in their calls for Madurai and Trichy, it shows signs of discord withing the ruling government and would not bode well for them, with the Legislative Assembly elections, just right around the corner. Stay tuned for updates...