Vijayawada: In a surprised turn of events, Andhra Pradesh government on Monday announced its decision to go back on its three capitals proposal. The cabinet conveyed the decision, to revoke the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and CRDA Repeal Acts of 2020, to the high court through advocate general S. Sriram, who said the Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy himself would lend clarity on the issue by making a statement in the Assembly. The high court is hearing a bunch of cases against the three capitals bills of the state government.
The Jaganmohan Reddy government had tabled the three bills, decentralising the administration, in January 2020. It had proposed to make Kurnool in Rayalaseema region as judicial capital, Visakhapatnam in north Andhra region as executive capital and Amaravati in coastal region as legislative capital.
The government had proposed to move the high court and all judicial and legal institutions of the state to Kurnool, while shifting the administration to Visakhapatnam leaving legislature (both legislative assembly and legislative council) in Amaravati.
The move was opposed by all opposition parties and the farmers who gave their lands in land pooling system to establish capital in Amaravati. They had filed a number of cases challenging the three capitals bills. The cases are now being heard by the high court on a day-to-day basis.
Though the legislative assembly had passed the bills, they are still pending in the legislative council, which had referred them to a select council. The opposition TDP was in majority in the legislative council, which could push the bills to the select committee. Though the ruling party and the legislature secretariat claimed that the reference to the select committee was not made according to the rule book, it is learned that the high court is also looking into this issue seriously.
The ruling YSR Congress party has now gained complete majority in the legislative council pushing the TDP to a minority in the house. While it is not known officially about the intentions of the government on repealing the three bills, it is believed that the government wants to reinitiate the process by getting the approval of both legislative assembly and legislative council afresh to avoid legal scrutiny.