Looking back at the events that preceded today’s announcement by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy about withdrawing the three capitals for the state bill, there seems to be a thread to the whole thing and thread has been controlled and operated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)!
Jagan introduced AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill & AP Capital Region Development Authority Repeal (APCRDA) and got them passed in state assembly immediately. But unfortunately, no work started in this direction. Even as he was getting the state machinery ready to shift from Amaravati-Velugapudi to Visakhapatnam, the first wave of Covid-19 struck, so things were not conducive for any movements. This was followed by second wave of the pandemic.
In between the state government tried its ways to get moving with the bills. But the AP High Court stayed the two new laws establishing three capitals in Andhra Pradesh – Visakhapatnam (executive), Kurnool (judicial) and Amaravati (legislative), amid massive protests and several legal challenges. After the Jagan government sought Supreme Court’s intervention in the case and refusing to overturn High Court order, the state had no option but to approach the High Court. The two laws received the governor’s assent in August 2020 after being passed for the second time in AP assembly.
With the three capital idea, the farmers of Amaravati, who had voluntarily contributed their lands for capital region, sat in protest, they were supported by opposition and the protest grew heaps and bound by the day. For over 700 days, the farmers sat in protest and demanded that Amaravati be the only capital of the state. Amaravati farmers have taken out a rally ‘Nyayastahanam to Devasthanam’ (High Court to Temple) from Amaravati to Tirumala.
Even after Jagan’s meeting with Union Home minister Amit Shah, the Union government has not issued any notification for shifting the High Court to Kurnool and the President’s assent is still pending on AP CM’s three capitals law. Over and above all these, the state BJP leaders joining the padayatra of the farmers and making it a tougher call for Jagan. With things going out of control and diver people from the issue, he has now withdrawn the bill, say analysts.
It was not just the farmers and opposition, but the Union government was not supporting the idea of three capitals and right now, Jagan needs to be in the good books of the Union government to sail through the elected period and maybe join hands with the BJP and capture power for the next term as well!