Amid protests from the Opposition, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 late Monday night that intends to create three state capitals — Visakhapatnam, Kurnool, and Amravati — to help decentralised development, PTI reported.
The bill provides for dividing the state into various zones and establishing zonal planning and development boards. The village and (municipal) ward secretariats system that the government brought in October last year now gets statutory backing as it has been made part of the new bill.
The state Assembly witnessed high drama on Monday as Opposition leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was detained by the police after he led TDP legislators on a foot march a few metres from the main entrance gate into the Assembly. He staged a sit-in protest outside the gate of the Assembly after 17 TDP MLAs were suspended from the Assembly for disrupting the speech of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“Nowhere in the world for one state there are 3 capitals. Today is a black day, we wanted to save Amaravati and Andhra Pradesh. Not only me, throughout the state people are fighting and coming on roads. Govt is arresting everyone. It’s bad for democracy,” Naidu said while staging a sit-in protest outside the Assembly gate. Police took him and others in a police van and dropped them at his residence.
Ahead of the cabinet meeting today, several TDP leaders were taken into preventive custody in Amaravati, Vijayawada, and Guntur. TDP workers and farmers protesting the government’s decision were prevented from organising protests in the 29 villages in Amaravati leading to tension.
As many as 5,000 police personnel, including several senior officers, were deployed for bandobust duties in view of the crucial three-day extended winter session of the legislature.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines