Why is the three Capitals Bill of Andhra Pradesh withdrawn?

Politics Nov 25, 2021

In 2020, Andhra Pradesh(AP) Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had introduced the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act 2020, AP Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Act 2020 which led to 3 capitals in Andhra Pradesh: Visakhapatnam(Executive capital), Amaravati(Legislative Capital), Kurnool(Judicial Capital).

Due to lack of approval in the council, the Government had passed the bill in the ordinance(a law passed when the Parliament was not in session). There were petitions challenging the issues with the bill in the High Court.

On Nov 21, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced that Amaravati would be the sole capital of the state in an emergency capital meeting. The state cabinet had decided to withdraw the three capital bills upon informing the Government’s decision to the High Court in an affidavit(statement like an oath) by Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram.

Last year, the Union Home Ministry had informed the High Court that the decision of the capital shall be taken by the State Government adding that the Center had no role in it.

Fertile lands of about 33,000-34000 acres were given up by the farmers on instruction by the previous Government for the construction of capital Amaravati. Farmers had been opposing the three capitals bill at Amaravati for more than 700 days.

AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said,” As per the previous Government, the cost to develop the basic infrastructure like water, road system would cost around 1 lakh crores for 50,000 acres. He adds that the bill will be improved addressing the need for decentralization in a new and comprehensive way.”

Rajiv Krishna, Advisor to  AP Government stated that the 3 three capitals bill was brought with the view of positive development all over the state. The success of the bill could have brought some significant change, due to some legal issues, the Government had decided to repeal the bill.

He added,” The decentralization model of Gujarat is to be replicated as Gujarat is one of the most industrially developed states in India. The improved bill would be addressing the farmers', people’s concerns and implemented with everyone’s satisfaction”.

Political Analysts say that the development cannot be linked with the number of capitals as the capital is only a head of the administration. Questions were also raised by the opposition parties on why the Government remained silent for the past 1 year since the farm protests broke out.

What were the proposed modifications?

The legal issues with the drafting of the bill would be rectified.

The concerns of the farmers protesting in the Amaravati region would be addressed by making them partners to the revised bill.

IN CONCLUSION…

AP’s CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Repeal Bill 2021 was brought to explain the government’s good intention considering the larger public concerns and bring equal development in all regions. He added that they wanted to bring a bill with no errors.

There were impressions that the Government decided to repeal the act due to the orders from the High Court.

The Government should make a decision on decentralization seeking advice from political analyst experts and all political parties.

This article has been written by Renitha for The Paradigm.

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