The state government’s further actions on the capitals would depend on the decision of the Governor and the outcome of cases in the High Court.

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan sitting on the left, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy sitting on the right File Photo
news Governance Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 08:59

The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday sent the two contentious Bills related to the shifting of the capital to Vizag, to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan for his assent. The Governor himself is sending the AP Decentralisation And Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020,and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2020, to the Law Department "for advice."

Highly-placed official sources told PTI that the Governor might refer the two Bills, which were intended to facilitate setting up of three different capitals for the state, to the President of India after the legal examination.

The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has requested the Governor not to give assent to the two Bills, as the Legislative Council had disapproved the state government policy in this regard.

The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) cried foul, saying the TDP was only seeking to block the development of the backward Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra regions by opposing the two Bills.

When the two Bills were first introduced in the Legislature in January this year, the Assembly passed them without any hitch, owing to the brute majority of the ruling party. They faced a blockade in the Council as the opposition TDP was in majority.

The Council referred the two Bills to a Select Committees for deeper examination, effectively scuttling Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's plans to have three capitals for the state with different functions in Amaravati (Legislative), Visakhapatnam (Executive) and Kurnool (Judicial).

On June 16, the Bills were re-introduced and adopted unanimously in the Assembly but they did not pass the Council once again on June 17, resulting in a stalemate.

Since a month has elapsed after the Bills were stalled (for the second time) in the Council, the government sent them to the Governor for his assent under Article 197 (1) and (2) of the Constitution.

Highly-placed official sources said the Governor would now send the two Bills to the Law Department for advice and circulation.

Asked about the possibility of the proposed legislation being referred to the President of India, the sources said it would all depend on the legal examination.

The Governor, according to sources, was weighing various options since the matter was also sub judice.

The state governments further actions on the three capitals would depend on the decision of the Governor and also the outcome of the High Court case.

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