Andhra Pradesh governor in no hurry to sign Bill on 3 capitals

Deccan Chronicle.  | N VAMSI SRINIVAS

Nation, Politics

Governor Harichandan is waiting for replies to his queries on the bill

Andhra Pradesh governor Biswabhushan Harichandan (left) and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. (DC file photo)

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan is not likely to rush to give his consent to the contentious ‘three capitals bill’ sent to him by the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government on Saturday.

Once bitten twice shy, Raj Bhavan is firm on following due process. It intends to take a decision that will stand judicial scrutiny, unlike the hurriedly issued ordinance curtailing the term of the then state election commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar,  which was struck down by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The Amaravati capital region development authority repeal bill was also sent for the governor’s consent.

Official sources told Deccan Chronicle that the governor would wait for the para-wise remarks he sought from the Assembly Secretariat on complaints made to him separately by the Amaravati Sadhana Samithi and Telugu Desam Party senior leader, Y. Ramakrishnudu.

As the bills originated from the administrative department, in this case municipal admin and urban development, they would be sent to the legal department as part of the procedure for vetting and numbering. Raj Bhavan sources did not rule out the governor asking for legal opinion before giving his consent.

The state government, however, is confident that the procedure it adopted is constitutional. A senior official told Deccan Chronicle that speaker T. Seetharam’s decision to re-introduce the bill in the Assembly three months after the stalemate in the Legislative Council was as per Assembly rules.

The government also took a stand that the council chairman’s discretionary power, using which he announced referring the bills to a select committee, would come into effect only when the rules and conventions were silent. “In this case, the council chairman did not even put the motion pressing for the select committee to vote, leave alone the upper house adopting it,” the official pointed out.

Both bills were dispatched on Saturday immediately after the end of the mandatory one- month cooling period from the day the state assembly passed them for the second time. The assembly passed the bills and sent them to the council where there was a stalemate on whether or not they should be sent to select committee.

The speaker, however, allowed re-introduction of the bills three months later on the grounds that no motion was passed in the council to refer them to the select committee. The assembly passed the bills for the second time taking the Chief Minister closer to his dream of making Visakhapatnam the executive capital.