Nation Politics 29 Nov 2022 SC relief a short in ...

SC relief a short in arm to Jagan for ‘3 capitals’ policy decision

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MD ILLYAS
Published Nov 29, 2022, 1:42 am IST
Updated Nov 29, 2022, 7:19 am IST
The Buddha statue at Amaravati (Image: DC)
 The Buddha statue at Amaravati (Image: DC)

VIJAYAWADA: The Supreme Court stay order on Monday on the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s directive to the state government to complete the Amaravati capital construction in six months came as a shot in the arm to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in realising his dream to develop all regions of the state through the ‘3 capitals’ initiative.

The Supreme Court, in its interim order, stayed the time-bound directions passed by the High Court “to complete the construction work for the capital Amaravati, making it the only capital of the state”.

Further, the observations and comments from the apex court, like “courts can’t become town planners” and its enquiries about the system of having High Courts and capitals in separate places in several states, on Monday, raised hopes among the ruling YSRC rank and file that the concept of decentralised development will be taken forward. 

Jagan Mohan Reddy had on several occasions including in the state Assembly sessions and at various public meetings reiterated that his government adhered to decentralised development of AP through the ‘3 capitals’ initiative, that he would implement this in its full letter and spirit and would not flinch from the decision.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said lawmaking is a subject in the domain of the Legislature and reiterated that his government is committed to the cause of decentralised development through the ‘3 capitals’ formula as a policy initiative. He took the stand that courts cannot direct the legislature not to make laws. He said fixing timelines for various “impossible” constructions is not correct.

Reaffirming the government’s commitment to decentralised development, the Chief Minister has resolutely stated that “the decision on ‘3 capitals’ is our right and responsibility, while policymaking is in the domain of the Legislature.”

The Chief Minister stressed that courts cannot preempt or direct the government to not frame a policy, with presumptions, and lay down impossible conditions like setting timelines that cannot be met.

In the state Assembly, he affirmed, “Laws we are making stand for public scrutiny every five years, which is the very reason why the previous (TD) dispensation was rejected and people gave us a thumping mandate with 151 of the 175 seats in the assembly. Courts should not be getting into our domain of making laws and this I am saying with utmost respect towards the judiciary and to set the record straight for future generations. The 29 villages form a minor fraction of the total state. We are exploring legal options on the issue.”

Accordingly, on September 17 this year, AP filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the verdict of AP High Court on Amaravati and got relief from the Supreme Court on Monday, by getting a stay on the various time-frame directions of the High Court.

Interestingly, Jagan Mohan Reddy planned to conduct meetings in support of the ‘3 capitals’ plan, in North Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, to draw public support for the concept of decentralised development. Under this, the ruling YSRC conducted a Visakha Garjana on October 15, which was a grand success. This as an  encouragement, the YSRC conducted a similar Rayalaseema Garjana in Tirupati, which also was successful.

The relief from the Supreme Court came as a boon and a shot in the arm for Jagan Mohan Reddy to go ahead with his decentralised development initiative and to use this in the forthcoming general elections in 2024 with his Target-175 aim.

YSRC leaders including ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Gudivada Amarnath, Ambati Rambabu and Jogi Ramesh claimed that constructing the capital city in Amaravati is nothing but a chasing of a mirage as it would not be completed even after 100 years. They recollected that former chief minister and TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had himself estimated that it would require a whopping `1.10 lakh crore to create the basic infrastructure for the capital in Amaravati in 53,000 acres of land, at the rate of a spend of around `2 crore per acre.

They claimed that the Chief Minister was talking about the importance of decentralisation for all-round development of the state and that the Supreme Court too questioned the call for focused development of a particular area.

YSRC leaders reiterated that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government is committed to the ‘3 capitals’ formula and the government would develop Amaravati also accordingly, doing justice to all regions of the state.

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