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UPDATED AT: 11:08:00 PM

I'm not building a slum here: Chandrababu Naidu

VIJAYAWADA: "I don't want to build a slum," declared Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, upon returning home from yet another foreign visit on Friday. Soon after landing, he called a press conference in which he bristled at the suggestion that visits abroad have reached Modi proportions lately.
"I want to build a capital city. If I had to build a slum, I wouldn't have to go abroad to see those cities. But I'm trying to build a capital here. I need ideas," he said. The chief minister was just back from a five-day visit to Moscow, St Petersburg and Astana. It was his second foreign visit in a month, coming after an investment mission to China.
"Of late there has been criticism that I have been visiting foreign countries too frequently and that I have been changing my perception of how the capital should come up each time I visit a new country. What my critics do not understand is that an elaborate exercise has to take place before a capital is designed and constructed. So I am visiting the best cities in the world to learn their ideas," Chandrababu Naidu said.
The chief minister went on to give a graphic account of how Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan was built over a period of ten years. "When the Soviet Union broke up, Kazakhstan was left with no capital. The employees came forward to sacrifice their wages for one year. They built a capital brick by brick and today it is the most beautiful city in the world," Chandrababu Naidu said.
The chief minister said that the other reason why he visited Russia was that AP should benefit from that country's expertise in defence and aerospace. "Seventy per cent of our defence needs are met by Russia. Their companies should come to AP. We will create a cluster for them," Naidu said, adding that he had told the United Ship Building Corporation of Russia that they would be losing a great opportunity if they do not invest in AP.


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