As another setback to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s move for three capital cities for Andhra Pradesh, the state high court on Friday stayed the government order for shifting the office of the Vigilance Commissioner, Chairman of Commissionerate of Inquiries and Offices of the members of the Commissioner of Inquiries to Kurnool, the proposed legal capital.
Reportedly, the high court has questioned the state government’s counsel asking why the offices cannot be relocated to some other place within Amaravati.
Meanwhile, thousands of farmers who gave away their lands to the previous Telugu Desam Party government under land pooling system for construction of Amaravati capital have been protesting for the last three months against the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government’s move to go for a three capital cities model.
Notably, all the opposition parties in the state including TDP and left parties are opposing the state government’s plans on the capital model. The TDP head and previous Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has even demanded the government to conduct a referendum on the matter.
Also read: Amaravati Farmers Observe Bandh Over Passing of 3 Capitals Bill in Assembly
“Protests will continue until the government announces that Amaravati will be the only capital,” said Ramakrishna, state secretary of the Communist Party of India, while addressing a public gathering in Mandadam, Amaravati where scores of farmers and their families have been protesting against the three capitals model. Ramakrishna added that Y S Jagan is dividing the people on caste basis and his regime has become an economic catastrophe for the state.
In January, the state Assembly had passed the ‘Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill, 2020’, according to which the state will have three capitals -- Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the legal capital.
However, the ruling party faced the first setback at the legislative council wherein the TDP is in majority and had referred the bill to a select committee of the council for eliciting public opinion. Subsequently, CM Jagan took a further step to even abolish the legislative council and even passed a resolution in that regard. However, it is now left for Parliament to decide on the legislative council which has become a hurdle for the ruling party to go ahead with its three capitals plan.
The state government is, however, keen on implementing the model. On March 18, the government appealed to the employees of the Secretariat to move from Amravati to Visakhapatnam in the month of May. Reportedly, the government has also told the employees that it would ease the process of shifting by offering support in finding accommodation and schools.
According to newspaper reports, the Chief Minister’s Office is also proposed to be shifted to Visakhapatnam.
Ever since the YSRC party came to power in May 2019, construction work at Amaravati has been stalled and the ruling party has made numerous allegations of land-related corruption against TDP leaders and even constituted a special investigation team (SIT) probe into the matter.