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Andhra Pradesh Withdraws Contentious 3-Capital Bill: Why Did It See Resistance?

Advocate General S Sriram informed the AP high court of the government’s decision to withdraw the bills.

Updated
Politics
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Andhra Pradesh map, used for representational purposes.</p></div>
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The Andhra Pradesh government has withdrawn the contentious bill that sought to trifurcate the state capital into Visakhapatnam, Amaravati, and Kurnool, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said in an announcement in the Assembly on Monday, 22 November.

Introduced by state Minister for Finance, Planning and Legislative Affairs Buggana Rajendranath, the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions (Repeal) Bill, 2021 was passed in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Monday.

The bill repeals the Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Act 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region development Authority Repeal Act 2020 Act.

Last year, the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed two bills for the second time after the Opposition Telugu Desam Party blocked the passage of the bills in the Legislative Council. The bill saw resistance in the state ever since it was passed.

Andhra Pradesh Withdraws Contentious 3-Capital Bill: Why Did It See Resistance?

  1. 1. What the CM Said

    Speaking in the Assembly, Reddy said that the administration would "come forward with a complete, comprehensive, and improved bill," indicating that a revised bill may be resubmitted in the future.

    “We are taking this decision to safeguard the wider public interest," he stated.

    The chief minister further said that the 2019 election result was resolute vote against the concentration of development in one place and negation of super capital model like Hyderabad, adding that the electorate acknowledged our policy of decentralisation which brings all regions and all walks of people into the development fold.

    Saying that for the past two years, the issue was dragged into legal tangles, propaganda with distortions and mudslinging, Reddy stated that the old governance hasn’t taken any development aims into consideration.

    If the concept of three capitals was implemented and had begun to do justice to the three regions as soon as the Decentralisation of Capitals Bill was passed, the beneficial results would have been seen today, he said.

    Therefore, "to elaborate on the good intentions of the state government in the bills relating to the three capitals, incorporating all the answers into the Bill itself, to further improve the Bill, to explain it broadly to all regions, and to incorporate them if any changes are necessary, the State Government has withdrawn the bill," Reddy stated on Monday.

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  2. 2. What the Finance Minister Said

    Rajendranath, who tabled bill, said that the government seeks to bring balanced regional development in the state and will have a relook after due considerations.

    Speaking on the discussions that went into deciding on decentralising development, the minister said that the government did not want to repeat the Hyderabad example by concentrating development in a single region.

    This was also against the reports published by the the Sri Krishna Committee – an expert committee constituted by the government.

    The Sri Krishna Committee reportedly submitted its report after an extensive tour in state, saying that concentrating wealth in one region resulted in regional imbalances.

    Therefore, based on their recommendations and duly considering the earlier reports along with the Sri Bagh pact, the government proposed the three capital bill.

    Expand
  3. 3. Why Were the Bills Opposed?

    Several farmers and landowners of the Amaravati region opposed the bills, demanding that Amaravati be retained as the sole state capital.

    The Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee (JAC) organised protests over the issue.

    A 45-day walkathon in the name of ‘maha padayatra’ from Amaravati to Tirupati was also launched on 1 November, The News Minute reported.

    As of 21 November, the walkathon had reached Kavali town of Nellore, and the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party extended its support to the movement.

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  4. 4. What Has Happened So Far?

    Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh High Court heard multiple petitions challenging two contentious bills. During this, Advocate General S Sriram informed the court of the government’s decision to withdraw both of them, LiveLaw reported.

    The proposal for making Amaravati the capital was a project of the N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP administration. Since the YSRCP government came to power in May 2019, development projects in the Amaravati region were stalled.

    The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led administration proposed decentralisation of the capital with the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool, The News Minute reported.

    As per the YSRCP government, development in Amaravati-Vijayawada-Guntur region was to continue despite the trifurcation of the capital.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What the CM Said

Speaking in the Assembly, Reddy said that the administration would "come forward with a complete, comprehensive, and improved bill," indicating that a revised bill may be resubmitted in the future.

“We are taking this decision to safeguard the wider public interest," he stated.

The chief minister further said that the 2019 election result was resolute vote against the concentration of development in one place and negation of super capital model like Hyderabad, adding that the electorate acknowledged our policy of decentralisation which brings all regions and all walks of people into the development fold.

Saying that for the past two years, the issue was dragged into legal tangles, propaganda with distortions and mudslinging, Reddy stated that the old governance hasn’t taken any development aims into consideration.

If the concept of three capitals was implemented and had begun to do justice to the three regions as soon as the Decentralisation of Capitals Bill was passed, the beneficial results would have been seen today, he said.

Therefore, "to elaborate on the good intentions of the state government in the bills relating to the three capitals, incorporating all the answers into the Bill itself, to further improve the Bill, to explain it broadly to all regions, and to incorporate them if any changes are necessary, the State Government has withdrawn the bill," Reddy stated on Monday.

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What the Finance Minister Said

Rajendranath, who tabled bill, said that the government seeks to bring balanced regional development in the state and will have a relook after due considerations.

Speaking on the discussions that went into deciding on decentralising development, the minister said that the government did not want to repeat the Hyderabad example by concentrating development in a single region.

This was also against the reports published by the the Sri Krishna Committee – an expert committee constituted by the government.

The Sri Krishna Committee reportedly submitted its report after an extensive tour in state, saying that concentrating wealth in one region resulted in regional imbalances.

Therefore, based on their recommendations and duly considering the earlier reports along with the Sri Bagh pact, the government proposed the three capital bill.

Why Were the Bills Opposed?

Several farmers and landowners of the Amaravati region opposed the bills, demanding that Amaravati be retained as the sole state capital.

The Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee (JAC) organised protests over the issue.

A 45-day walkathon in the name of ‘maha padayatra’ from Amaravati to Tirupati was also launched on 1 November, The News Minute reported.

As of 21 November, the walkathon had reached Kavali town of Nellore, and the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party extended its support to the movement.

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What Has Happened So Far?

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh High Court heard multiple petitions challenging two contentious bills. During this, Advocate General S Sriram informed the court of the government’s decision to withdraw both of them, LiveLaw reported.

The proposal for making Amaravati the capital was a project of the N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP administration. Since the YSRCP government came to power in May 2019, development projects in the Amaravati region were stalled.

The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led administration proposed decentralisation of the capital with the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool, The News Minute reported.

As per the YSRCP government, development in Amaravati-Vijayawada-Guntur region was to continue despite the trifurcation of the capital.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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