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Andhra Capital Bills with Guv, oppn urges him not to give nod

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Andhra Capital Bills with Guv, oppn urges him not to give nod
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan.

Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan is likely to decide, in a day or two, on two Bills sent to him by the state government for trifurcation of the state capital while the opposition has urged him not to give his assent.

The Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government sent to the Raj Bhavan two Bills passed by the Assembly last month. While one bill is for abolition of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) that was created during the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime for building the capital in Amaravati, the other is aimed at decentralising the administration by creating three state capitals.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government wants to shift the executive capital to Visakhapatnam, the judicial capital to Kurnool and retain Amaravati as the legislative capital. However, its move sparked massive protest from farmers of Amaravti who had given their lands for the development of the capital.

The two Bills were originally passed by the Assembly in January 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 high court, the Bills were passed again by the Assembly on June 16. 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.

The Governor has reportedly sought expert opinion on the procedure involved in the passage of the 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

Meanwhile, TDP President and Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday urged the Governor to take a “pro-people decision on the unlawful Bills”.

In a letter to the Governor, the former Chief Minister appealed to him to consider the interests and future aspirations of all sections of Andhra Pradesh before taking a final decision.

Reminding the Governor that the Council referred the Bills to a select committee, he also contended that the approval of the two Bills at this juncture would amount to contempt of the court as the high court was in the process of hearing many petitions against the government’s “ulterior move” to shift capital in the name of decentralised development.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state President Kanna Lakshmi Narayana has also written to the Governor, requesting him not to grant assent to the two Bills.

The BJP leader mentioned in his letter that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act provides for only one capital.

He also appealed to the Governor to consider the constitutional aspects of the matter, the stand of several stakeholders and people’s wishes and not to grant assent to the Bills.

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