New Andhra Pradesh districts to come up in 2021

Taking forward this promise, Mr Reddy has taken up the exercise for formation of new districts.

HYDERABAD: The formation of new districts in Andhra Pradesh may take place only in 2021. AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, during his Praja Sankalpa Yatra before the Assembly elections last year, had promised that the number of districts will be increased from 13 to 25 for decentralisation, better administration and taking governance to doorsteps of the people. In its election manifesto, the YSR Congress promised to turn every Lok Sabha constituency into a district.

Taking forward this promise, Mr Reddy has taken up the exercise for formation of new districts. However, the Union home ministry has directed all states not to make any jurisdictional changes from January 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. This is in view of house listing operation (HLO) being taken up, along with updating of National Population Register (NPR), as part of Census of India-2021. Consequently, the state government is not in a position to form new districts till the census is completed.

The state administration and the Chief Minister had earlier thought that delimitation of Assembly constituencies will be completed in a year. They decided to form new districts after that. But the Centre instead decided to take up delimitation exercise in the two Telugu states along with that of other states “after the first Census after 2026”. Because of this, the state government decided to take up the exercise of forming new districts.

At a recent media conference in Visakhapatnam, a close associate of Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, Mr V. Vijayasai Reddy, MP, asserted that the state government will form new districts soon. Incidentally, the Telangana state government has already formed new districts, increasing the number from 10 to 34.

In his Praja Sankalpa Yatra, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy had also promised to name some districts after their prominent leaders and freedom fighters. He promised to name one district in Krishna area after N.T. Rama Rao, renowned Telugu actor and founder of the Telugu Desam.

It is believed the state government will name Gudivada after NTR district because Nimmakuru, the birthplace of NTR, falls under this district.

The Chief Minister had announced renaming Krishna district itself as NTR district but the proposal received criticism from several quarters.

Continuing his refrain during the Praja Sankalpa Yatra in Visakhapatnam district, the Chief Minister had announced that one district would be named after Alluri Sitarama Raju, the great freedom fighter. The state government may consider naming Araku district after Alluri Sitarama Raju.

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