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Andhra Pradesh repeals three capital law

Amaravati, Nov 22 (IANS) In a major decision, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday repealed the law to create three state capitals announcing that it will revisit the issue in view of the opposition from a section of people and legal hurdles.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy told the state Assembly that the decision was taken to protect the larger public interest and that the government will come to the house with a comprehensive legislation, taking into consideration the concerns of all.

The Assembly passed Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2021 with a voice vote after the chief minister made a brief statement.

The chief minister defended the decision of his government to create three capitals, hinting that it has not dropped its proposal to have administrative, legislative and judicial capitals at Visakhapatnam, Amaravati and Kurnool.

After coming to power in 2019, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) had reversed the decision of the earlier TDP government to develop Amaravati as the only state capital.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said the decision for trifurcation of state capital was taken to ensure decentralization and do justice to all three regions of the state.

The chief minister said the decision taken by the previous government required over Rs 1 lakh crore to only create basic infrastructure in the new state capital, his government decided to have administrative capital in Visakhapatnam, which already has excellent infrastructure and all other facilities.

Jagan Mohan Reddy clarified that he is not against Amaravati. "I have my residence here. I am not against this region," he said and alleged that the government's intention was twisted by some forces and created apprehensions among the minds of people and also created legal hurdles.

He said by creating three capitals and through decentralization, his government was trying to avoid the 'historic mistake' of developing Hyderabad as the super capital. He claimed that YSRCP's victory in every election proved that it enjoyed full support of the people.

Earlier, finance minister Bugga Rajendranath Reddy explained in detail the objective of the government in tabling the bill.

The government's decision comes at a time when farmers from Amaravati have been protesting for more than 700 days, demanding that Amaravati be developed as the only state capital.