Andhra capital shifting bills approved by Govenor, end of road for Amaravathi capital

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan today (Friday, July 31, 2020) gave his assent to Andhra Pradesh capital shifting billsthat were sent to him by the CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led government three weeks ago paving way for setting up three capitals for Andhra Pradesh.

With this Amaravathi will cease to exist as the sole capital of AP. Amaravathi will only be confined as Legislative Capital with the presence of Legislative Assembly and Council.

Vizag will be made Executive capital with the shifting of Secretariat an all government offices from Amaravathi to Vizag.

Kurnool will be made Judicial capital with the shifting of AP High Court from Amaravathi.

The YS Jagan government in AP had passed two bills, The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 and the Bill to repeal AP Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 last month in Legislative Assembly and sent to Governor for his assent three days ago.

The Governor referred both the bills for legal opinion.

Highly placed sources revealed that the legal department and legal experts have advised Governor to give his assent for both the bills and refer the issue to Central Government for final approvals.

Legal experts informed governor that the state government has full powers to decide on locating capital and Centre and courts cannot interfere in this issue which is the state government's policy decision.

CM YS Jagan wants to shift the executive capital to Visakhapatnam, the judicial capital to Kurnool and retain Amaravati as the legislative capital.

However, Jagan's decision triggered massive protests from farmers of Amaravti who had given their 33,000 acres of fertile lands for the construction of Amaravathi capital by previous Chandrababu Naidu government.

Opposition TDP is extending full support to agitating farmers. Jana Sena, Congress, Left Parties, BJP are also expressing solidarity to agitating farmers.

The two Bills were originally passed by the AP Assembly in January 2020 and were sent to the Legislative Council for its approval. However, the opposition TDP which has a majority in the upper house stalled the Bills and amid the pandemonium, Chairman M.A. Shariff had announced referring the Bills to the select committee.

However, the Assembly officials had refused to constitute the select committee on the ground that the Chairman's decision was not in line with the rules. Even as the matter landed in the AP High court, the Bills were passed again by the Assembly on June 16, 2020. The Bills were sent to the Council but the same could not be taken up and the House was adjourned sine die amid pandemonium.

Claiming that two Bills deemed to have been passed after a one month period, the government sent them to the Governor for his approval three days ago.

Governor is expected to approve both these bills today and refer to Centre for final approval.

The Centre too is expected to give its formal approval soon as the Centre is repeatedly claiming that its the prerogative of state government to decide where the capital should be located and the central government has no role in this issue.

So, Governor's approval today is seen as the end of the road for Amaravathi as the AP's only capital.