In response to a writ petition filed in the High Court (HC) of Andhra Pradesh, the Union Home Ministry, on Thursday, has countered with an affidavit on the issue of the decentralisation of the state capital. The Central government stated that the final decision on the establishment of capital is under the purview of the AP state government.
In the counter affidavit, the Union Home Ministry reiterated that the Centre has no role to play in the AP government’s move to trifurcate its capital. The declaration has come two days after a writ petition (20622/2018) was filed in the AP High Court challenging the state government’s resolution to decentralise administration through the creation of executive, legislative, and judicial capitals.
The Assembly Secretariat had submitted the AP Decentralisation And Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2020, on 18 July 2020, to obtain the Andhra Pradesh Governor’s assent. The first bill addressed decentralisation of administration in Andhra Pradesh. The subsequent steps for the bill include establishing Vishakhapatnam as the executive capital, Amaravati as the legislative capital, and Kurnool as the judicial capital of the state. On 31 July, AP Governor, Biswabhusan Harichandan approved both the bills.
The proposal of setting up three capitals first came into the picture, in December 2019, when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy mooted the idea to enable decentralised administration in the state. The three capitals bill and the repealing of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act were passed by the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly, in January 2020, but were stalled in the State Legislative Council. They were then referred to a select committee by, Legislative Council Chairman, MA Shariff. However, the Legislature Secretary refused to do so, stating that the select committee cannot be constituted, owing to procedural grounds. It may be recalled that the current State Government adopted a resolution to actually abolish the legislative council, in January 2020, and sought the Centre’s approval for the same.