The Jagan Mohan Reddy government on Monday (January 20) introduced a Bill in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly proposing three capitals for the state. The bill proposes Visakhapatnam to be the executive capital, Amaravati to be the legislative capital and Kurnool to be the judicial capital of the state.
The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, also provides for dividing the state into various zones and establishing zonal planning and development boards. Earlier in the day, the Cabinet met under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Reddy and cleared the draft Bills. The Cabinet also approved the recommendations of the high-power committee of ministers and bureaucrats on the capitals issue.
Moving the bill on the first day of the extended winter session, finance and legislative affairs minister Buggana Rajendranath said the government decided to enact a new legislation for decentralisation and inclusive development of all regions in the state for ensuring “balanced and inclusive growth” of Andhra Pradesh.
If cleared by the assembly, the bill would allow the Jagan-led government to proceed with the three-capital formula for Andhra Pradesh favoured by the GN Rao Committee. The panel advocated it on the ground that the move will help in de-centralising development and putting the available resources to best use.
While heavy security has been deployed in and around the Assembly during the special session, several opposition leaders have been put under house arrest to avoid trouble.
The state government has also deployed heavy police force in Amravati to maintain peace and law and order. Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 30 of Andhra Pradesh Police Act are already in force in the Amaravati region.
This enhanced security cordon has been put in place in the backdrop of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) calling for a ‘Chalo Assembly’ demonstration to protest against the concept of three capitals.
Villages that fall in the way to Assembly will be guarded by the police personnel. A special route has been prepared for state Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to reach the assembly from his residence.
The assembly session is being specially held to discuss the three capital proposal put forward by Andhra Chief Minister.
Protests in Amaravati have been going on for nearly five weeks by farmers who are opposing the state government’s proposal to shift the state capital from Amaravati.
The government has proposed to have three capitals for Andhra Pradesh – Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the judicial capital.
Apart from the TDP, the BJP and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena too have been vocal in opposing the idea of three capitals for the state.
(With inputs from agencies)