The Modi government has made its stand clear on the three capitals issue. The central government on Thursday filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court that it has no role in capital creation.
Further, the union government contended that it is the prerogative of a state to decide the location of its capital city.
With the counter affidavit, it has now become clear that the Modi government will not interfere in the decision of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh to shift the administrative capital of the state from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
The Union government’s counter affidavit comes in the wake of the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s directive to the Jagan government to maintain status quo till August 14 on shifting of capital from Amaravati to Vizag.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the new capital Amaravati at Uddandarayunipalem village in Guntur district.
As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister had 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.
The state BJP leaders have been talking in different voices on the capital issue ever since Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy announced trifurcation for capital.
BJP leader Lanka Dinakar had stated that his party is in favour of Amaravati and is supporting the ‘One State, One Capital’ system in Andhra Pradesh, while G V L Narasimha Rao had clarified that the Centre has no role in the issue of the capital.
Kanna Lakshminarayana when he was state BJP president had written to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan urging him not to give assent to the two capital bills.
Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao and 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 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.
The Governor has approved the bills notwithstanding a demand by the Opposition parties to refer them to President Ram Nath Kovind. The two Bills have been approved even as the matter is pending in the High Court. However, the Governor stated that he approved the two Bills after thorough consultations with legal experts. The Governor’s move gains significance as the matter is sub-judice, pending before the High Court.
On July 18, the Jagan government had sent the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 for setting up three capitals in the state to the Governor for his assent.
Both the Bills were passed in the Assembly in January and introduced in the Council, while the chairman referred them to the Select Committee. The bills were halted in the Assembly for the second time as the session was suspended amid pandemonium.
The previous TDP government has acquired over 35,000 acres of land from over 28,000 farmers in Amaravati. Soon after riding to power, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had proposed three capitals — Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the legal capital. This triggered massive protests from thousands of farmers who gave their lands for the capital construction at Amaravati. Amaravati farmers have been protesting against Jagan’s decision for several months now.