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Amid Statewide Protests, Andhra Pradesh Govt Tables Bill on 3 Capitals at State Assembly

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday introduced a Bill to create three capitals, Legislative in Amaravati, Executive in Visakhapatnam and Judicial in Kurnool, in the State Assembly.

Hyderabad: Following a crucial Cabinet meeting, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday tabled a decentralisation bill in the Assembly for the state to have ‘three capitals.’

The Bill, ‘Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020’, says the state would now have three Capitals: Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.

Amaravati will be the legislative capital and host the ‘seat of legislature.’ Raj Bhavan, secretariat and offices of the heads of government departments will be in Visakhapatnam -- making it the executive capital. Kurnool, the Bill says, will be the judicial capital and host the high court.

“Why do states have district administration and local bodies? To ensure equitable development. We want the same for Andhra Pradesh. The three regions in the state have different socio-economic cultural and developmental dimensions, and only a decentralised administration will ensure equal growth,” Minister for Finance Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said in the Assembly.

The three regions will be construed by the notifications issued under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Metropolitan Region and Urban Development Authorities Act, 2016.

The move comes amid massive statewide protests against the three-capital decision. Farmers from 29 villages in Amaravati, who gave their lands in pooling to the previous government for a capital in Amaravati, have been protesting against the YSRCP government for the decentralised capital proposal.

Opposition parties, particularly former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam, have also been actively participating in these protests.

On Monday, several TDP leaders were detained by the Police ahead of the ‘Chalo Assembly’ call given by Naidu in an attempt to gherao the Assembly. Several farmers were also expected to join the protests. However, the state government deployed heavy security in and around the Assembly to avoid any sort of inconvenience.

YSRCP leaders have opposed Naidu’s proposal saying the former chief minister did not take the Sivaramakrishnan committee report into consideration while planning the three capitals. The expert panel, appointed by Home Ministry, opposed the idea of a capital coming up in the area between Vijayawada-Guntur as it may pose a threat to the economy of the state, apart from disturbing the environment.

The ruling party also tabled another bill on Monday to repeal the existing Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act, 2014, which was to overlook the setting up of Amaravati as the Capital.