AMRAVATI: In an unforeseen development, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, withdrew the Three Capital Bill following a state cabinet meeting on Monday morning. This decision comes after numerous farmers and opposition members filed petitions that are still being heard by the High Court in Amravati on having Amaravati as the sole capital of the state.
In January 2020, the current Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress party (YSRCP) presented a bill in the state assembly to have three capitals for the state. The executive capital being at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and the judicial capital at Kurnool. This brought considerable backlash from farmers in Amaravati, who had voluntarily given their land to the government to develop Amravati in exchange for compensation. However, it is not clear whether the proposed High court which is currently based in Amravati will be shifted to Kurnool or not.
The state will, therefore, be repealing the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, both of which had received the then-Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan’s consent in July 2020 allowing the three capitals to be established in the considerable future.
A senior opposition member of the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), who did not wish to be named, told The New Indian that 30,000 acres of land had been given by farmers voluntarily to the then-Naidu government to establish a state of the art modern capital in Amravati for the state. A body by the name of Capital Regional Development Authority (CRDA) was established to handle the transaction but of the 30,000 families who have given their lands for the state capital, a majority of them have since seen an unsteady source of income.
Advocates defending petitioners in the High Court have said that it would be highly controversial to have ‘three capitals’ in the state as proposed by the current government as ‘governments keep changing but the State remains put’ and it would be unconstitutional not to use the fertile land voluntarily given by farmers.
However it is still not clear whether the Reddy government will reintroduce the bill making substantial amendments in the future or will terminate the issue after having informed the High Court this morning.