indica News Bureau-
In a new move, the Jaganmohan Reddy government on January 20 introduced the bill in Andhra Pradesh Assembly to have three capitals in the state, which is maximum number of capitals a state has had in the country. Though Himanchal Pradesh, (and earlier Jammu and Kashmir had) has two capitals, Andhra will be the only state to have three. The decision has been taken to ensure balanced growth of all regions of the state. The cabinet had approved the proposal to have 3 capital cities in the state, during its meeting at the state secretariat, chaired by CM Reddy on Monday morning.
After the cabinet meeting, the Legislative Assembly Business Advisory Committee met at 10 am and cleared the draft bill. Moving the bill on the first day of the extended winter session of the Assembly, Finance and Legislative Affairs Minister Buggana Rajendranath said the government decided to enact a new legislation for de-centralization and inclusive development of all regions in the state for ensuring “balanced and inclusive growth” of Andhra Pradesh, reported India Today.
The AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, also provides for dividing the state into various zones and establishing zonal planning and development boards.
The ruling Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara (YSR)government now plans to set up a legislative capital in Amaravati, executive/secretariat in Visakhapatnam and judicial capital in Kurnool.
The proposal however did not go down well with the citizens of the state who gathered outside the assembly in large numbers, protesting and demanding the state government to take back the proposal.
While the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government has been firm on carrying out its new plans for “comprehensive, parallel and decentralized development”, other political parties and citizens at large have opposed the ruling YSR Congress’ move to shift the state capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
Though the YSR government is guarding its execution plans for the decentralized growth it plans to undertake, sources said that the leading opposition party Telugu Desam Party will put all its efforts to derail the process and is waiting for an opportunity to show its strength in the Legislative Council. With possible support form Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and 28 members, the TDP can easily postpone any legislation that may seem to alter the status quo of the capital.
The YSRC may be having a brute majority of 151 in the 175-member Assembly but it’s in a woeful minority in the 58-member council, with its numbers being just nine.
Though the YSR government is guarding its strategy, many speculate that it many introduce a Money Bill to foil the attempts of the opposition. But according to sources, the Money Bill need to be approved by the cabinet first and then sent to the state governor for clearance before being introduced in the Assembly.
According to India Today, the ministers asked everyone to understand ahead of the session that the Legislature will essentially deliberate the report of the High-Powered Committee of ministers and bureaucrats on “decentralized development” and take a call on various related issues, including the location of the state capital.
The HPC relied on the recommendations made by the six-member committee of experts and also the Boston Consulting Group, besides the Sivaramakrishnan Committee, while coming out with its own set of suggestions.
The Council will meet on January 21 as per the Legislature notification and will sit only for two days whereas the Assembly will have one extra day.