Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a Bill to repeal the controversial AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, that was intended to establish three capitals for the state.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy told the Assembly that a more 'comprehensive, complete and better' Decentralisation Bill will be brought for the welfare of the people, thus protecting the larger interests of the citizens of the state.
"Our intention of a decentralised development of the state has been twisted, distorted and a misinformation launched. Also, legal hurdles were created and court cases filed," news agency PTI quoted the Chief Minister.
Jagan also said the government would explain their intention and the need for decentralisation to all concerned and incorporate necessary changes in the new Bill, PTI added.
Amid the ongoing row of three capitals, the chief minister, earlier in the day, announced that the state will have only one capital - Amaravati. Advocate general S. Sriram informed the high court of the chief minister's decision during its ongoing hearing on the capital city Amaravati.
With this announcement, the state cabinet decided to withdraw the Three Capitals Bill and inform the high court of the decision.
The YSRCP government has proposed three different capitals for the state, Amaravati a legislative capital, Visakhapatnam an executive one and Kurnool the judicial capital.
Last year, the Union Home Ministry had informed the Andhra Pradesh High Court that the capital city of the state is a matter to be decided by the state government, and added that the Centre had no role in it.
In a case between petitioner Potluri Srinivasa Rao and respondents Union of India and others, filed in 2018, under-secretary in the Union Home Ministry Lalita T. Hedaoo filed a counteraffidavit in the AP High Court.
The counter-affidavit mentioned that under Section 6 of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Union Government had constituted an expert committee on March 28, 2014 under the chairmanship of K.C. Sivaramakrishnan to study alternatives for a new capital for the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The panel submitted its report on August 30 of the same year, which was sent to AP government two days later on September 1. The affidavit mentioned that the state government issued an order dated April 23, 2015 notifying the capital city to be named as ‘Amaravati’. It further said that, ‘The capital city of a state is decided by the respective state government. The central government has no role in it."
The affidavit also mentioned that the AP government through Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020 which was published in the state gazette notification on 31/07/2020, has provided that there shall be three seats of governance in the state and they are to be called as capitals. Accordingly, Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Area to be called as ‘Legislative Capital’, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Area to be called as ‘Executive Capital’ and Kurnool Urban Development Area to be called as ‘Judicial Capital.’
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh BJP leader YS Chowdary last week said that his party supports the demand of declaring Amravati as the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
"On behalf of BJP, we have passed a resolution for supporting Amravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh. YSRCP government announced that there will be three capitals of the state without having any authority to do so. In order to support the local farmers who gave land for the capital development, BJP supports them and will see that capital remains in Amravati," said Chowdary.
"We demand from CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that Amaravati shall be continued as the capital as per the unanimous decision on the Assembly floor by all the parties prior to 2019. We express our open support for farmers and respect their agreements with the State Government for new capital construction at Amaravati," he added.