Jagan to invite Modi for 3 capitals foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16

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Chief Minsiter Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is gearing up for the foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16 for the formation of three capital cities – the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, the legislative capital at Amaravati and the judicial capital at Kurnool.

Jagan, it is learnt, is making all out efforts to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment to invite him for the foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16.

Jagan wants to impress upon Modi to take part in the foundation stone laying ceremony either in person or via video-conference.

However, it is unlikely that Modi will participate as he had already laid the foundation stone on October 23, 2015
for the new capital in Amaravati when Chandrababu Naidu was the first chief minister of newly formed Andhra Pradesh.

At that time, Modi also promised support for the development of new state as promised in the AP Reorganisation Act, including special assistance. The
Prime Minister had also stated that the central government would fulfill all promises that had been made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and would be implemented in-toto.

If Modi attends the foundation laying ceremony, it will surely open up a can of worms and kick up a fresh political storm.
Questions will be raised on how the PM can lay the foundation stone for three capitals four years after he laid the foundation stone for the construction of Amaravati. Such a move will thoroughly expose the central government’s double standards on the capital issue.

Already, the Modi government exposed itself by claiming that the three capitals issue is a state subject and that the Centre has no role to play. The central government had filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court in this regard recently.

The Modi government’s affidavit exposed the BJP’s double standards on the capital issue as the saffron party had passed a political resolution in favour of Amaravati as the capital. The central government had sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore for the project and an amount of Rs 1,500 crore had already been released.

It is another matter that the BJP leaders are divided on the three capitals issue and have been talking in differnt tones.
When Kanna Lakshminarayana was state BJP president, he had written to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan urging him not to give assent to the two capital bills.

The Governor had on July 31 given his assent to the two controversial bills — the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill and APCRDA Repeal Bill paving the way for creating three capitals in Andhra Pradesh.

Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao and nrwly appoited state president Somu Veerraju stated capital creation was not in the purview of the Centre and that the two Bills were cleared as per the constitutional and legal provisions.

The Governor gave his assent to the two bills even as the matter is sub-judice. Further, the High Court had recently directed the AP government to maintain status quo till August 14 on the shifting of government offices from Amaravati. However, an impatient and defiant Jagan administration in a tearing hurry filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the High Court order.

The issue could be heard in the Supreme Court in the next two to three days. In the meanwhile, Jagan seems to be in a hurry to lay the foundation stone for the three capitals even as the matter is pending both in the High Court as well as the Supreme Court.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had also sought complete details on the estimated cost of construction of the capital city in Amaravati and how much public money was spent so far.

The High Court expressed deep concern over the money that had so far been spent on construction of the capital in Amaravati. The High Court asked a volley of questions such as how many buildings were completed, how much money was spent and the outstanding amount to be paid to the contractors.

More than Rs 52,000 crore was spent on infrastructure, government buildings, water, power supply and other works as per CRDA records.

The case was posted for the next hearing on August 14.

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