The announcement of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to repeal the three capitals bills in the state assembly seemed like it was a back step taken by the CM. But when he spelled out his plans, it was very clear to all the people in state that the idea of three capitals is not completely written off. A bill got three capitals which will be comprehensive, well-structured and inclusive of all the elements will be chalked and presented, seems to be the idea behind AP CM’s withdrawal of the bill for now!
On November 22, the state legislative assembly has passed a Bill to repeal the controversial AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, that was intended to establish three capitals for the state. The 2020 Act was being repealed to protect the larger interests of people. “Our intention of a decentralised development of the state has been twisted, distorted and a misinformation launched. Also, legal hurdles were created and court cases filed,” the CM said.
In the same breath, Jagan told the assembly that his government would bring a “comprehensive, complete and better” Decentralisation Bill. There has been no timeframe announced for this and what would be done to come out with the “better” bill has also not been chalked out. It was an announcement to just withdraw the existing bill and Amaravati will continue to be the capital of AP for time being.
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Critics say that Jagan is buying time being. He has understood that there is resistance to three capitals and especially with government employees also against the bill, it was decision taken with utmost pain for the CM. But everyone is of the belief that AP CM will reintroduce the bill only after the elections. “In all probability he will not fiddle with the existing things and let things settle down. And then he will go for elections in 2024, after being victorious during that occasion, he is likely to come up with bill and this time he will make sure it is implemented,” says senior journalist in Vijayawada.