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Decks cleared for three capitals in Andhra Pradesh as Governor gives nod to bills

The Governor’s consent comes seven months after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s dramatic announcement in the state assembly.

Published: 31st July 2020 04:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2020 09:54 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh Governor  Biswabhusan Harichandan

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan (File Photo |EPS)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: It is official. Andhra Pradesh will have three capitals, a first for any state in India. Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Friday gave his assent to The AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill-2020 and APCRDA (Repeal) Bill -2020, paving the way for the Legislative Capital in Amaravati, Executive in Visakhapatnam and, Judicial in Kurnool.

The Governor’s consent came seven months after CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s dramatic announcement in the Assembly. The Decentralisation Act, as the name suggests, is for decentralised and balanced development of all regions.

Under it, the Raj Bhawan, Secretariat and offices of the heads of government departments will be in Vizag and the seat of legislature will be Amaravati. All state judicial institutions will be "as far as practicable" in Kurnool.

The development evoked expected reactions. Municipal Administration Minister Botcha Satyanarayana welcomed it and announced that the CM will soon lay the foundation for the executive capital in Vizag. "Despite TDP’s conspiracies, eventually, dharma has prevailed. The government will stand by Amaravati farmers and ensure justice to them," he said.

Former CM and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu called it a black day. "Governor’s decision is unconstitutional and a historic blunder. 29,000 farmers have given land for Amaravati believing in the government. The YSRC government has betrayed their trust. Nowhere in the world are there three capitals for a state. We will wage a legal battle... everyone should respond to the call of the Amaravati joint action committee and stage virtual protests," he appealed. Interestingly, the BJP has welcomed three capitals move.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao argued that the Governor took the decision as per the Constitution. "Capital is a state subject. The Centre has no role. Our only concern is justice for Amaravati farmers," he said.

The absence of BJP support is a setback for the TDP, which has tried hard to delay the bills in the Legislative Council where it has a majority. The TDP, Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and others have also moved the HC where the matter is pending.

The TDP-dominated council had referred the bills to a select committee in January but with the Legislature Secretary not going forward with the process, the government passed the bills for the second time in the recent Budget Session and sent them again to the Council. The bills were deemed to have been passed after the Council didn’t discuss them.

ALSO READ| Our dreams have shattered beyond repair: Amaravati farmers on Andhra Pradesh capital move

TIMELINE

2019

  • December 17: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announces three-capital proposal in State Legislative Assembly along the lines of South Africa’s capital cities

  • December 20: Six-member panel of urban planning experts submits report to CM. Retired IAS officer and urban planning expert GN Rao says panel recommends decentralisation of capital city functions

  • December 29: Govt forms High Power Committee to discuss GN Rao Committee and Boston Consulting Group recommendations

2020

  • January 3: Boston Consulting Group submits report, supports three-capital plan

  • January 20: AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill and APCRDA Repeal Bill passed in the Legislative Assembly, sent to Legislative Council

  • January 21: Legislative Council, where TDP has majority, stalls passage of the bills

  • January 22: TDP issues notification to Legislative Council Chairman to send the bills to Select Committee

  • February 10: In-charge Secretary of AP Legislature sends back file related to Select Committee to the AP Legislative Council Chairman’s office, saying the panel cannot be formed to deal with the bills as due procedures were not followed

  • June 16: Government introduces and passes the two bills in the Assembly again

  • June 17: Legislative Council fails to discuss the bills again

  • July 18: Government sends the bills to Governor

  • July 20: Governor seeks legal opinion

  • July 31: Governor gives consent for bills



Comments(1)

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  • Sivaram

    Neither the governor nor the CM has authority to break the already existing capital Amaravati into 3 pieces.
    1 year ago reply
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