Centre indirectly backs AP three-capital proposal

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The Centre had earlier refused to intervene in the issue saying that it was matter to be decided by the state government and it had no role in it. 

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, which refused to intervene in the row over the trifurcation of the capital of Andhra Pradesh, appears to have altered its stand in favour of the YSRCP government, which is going ahead with the three capital move.

In an affidavit filed in the Andhra Pradesh high court on Thursday, September 10, the union home ministry said there was nothing wrong in having three capitals, as per the AP Reorganization Act. It said that there was no mention stating that AP should have only one capital in the Act. The Home Ministry made it clear that the petitioner Sambasiva Rao’s argument on three capitals was just an illusion.

The Act only mentioned that the Centre would help the state financially in setting up the capital, the affidavit said. The Centre, in the affidavit, said that they would not interfere into the capital or capitals issue in the future. Farmers of Amaravati Capital region have been on the protest mode for more than 200 days expressing their resentment over shifting of the capital to Vizag.

The Centre has one more time reiterated that it would not interfere in finalizing the state capital for Andhra Pradesh. Filing an affidavit to this effect in the Andhra Pradesh High Court one more time, the government of India has also categorically stated that there is statutory provision in any legislation which stipulates that a state should have only one capital.

The affidavit has unequivocally stated that the final call in deciding the state capital rests solely with the state government and it would in no way intervene in it.

The affidavit was filed in a case between Potluri Srinivasa Rao, who petitioned the high court against the state government’s proposal to create three capitals, and respondents the Union government besides others.

The counter-affidavit stated that under section 6 of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Centre had constituted an expert panel on March 28, 2014, under the chairmanship of K C Sivaramakrishnan to study the alternatives for a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, the residuary state of the erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh following its bifurcation and the creation of a separate Telangana state.

The counter-affidavit stated that the expert committee submitted its detailed report on August 30, 2014, which was then referred to the then Andhra Pradesh government two days later, i.e., on September 1. “The capital city of a state is decided by the respective state government. The central government has no role in it,” the counter-affidavit clarified.

The opposition Congress has been demanding the central intervention saying that Article 355 of the Constitution had given enough powers to the centre to intervene in state affairs in case of an external aggression and internal disturbance and also in case the state failed to be administered in compliance with provisions of the Constitution.

The party said that the controversy dealing with setting up three capitals, needs to be resolved by the President, the Centre or the judiciary (with inputs from Sakshi daily)

Image Credit: The Hindu

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