Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday said that his government was considering establishing multiple capitals in the state so that there is decentralised development.
Making a statement in the Assembly during a discussion on Amaravati capital city, Jagan strongly advocated decentralised development. “The priorities of the state should be in tune with the aspirations of the people and the option of multiple capitals could be considered,” he said.
The CM’s statement deals another blow to the possibility that the YSRCP government could continue to develop Amaravati as the state capital, which former CM N Chandrababu Naidu had started building.
Jagan said that a committee has been formed to decide on the capital area region, and it will submit its report in a couple of days. “We have to discuss in the direction of developing all the regions and the concept of multiple capitals too could be considered. We can think in terms of having three capitals —- one being the legislative capital and the other two being an executive capital and a judicial capital. A reputed consultancy firm will give its report and a decision will be taken after discussing the details and logistics,” he said.
Officials said that Visakhapatnam — which has a better civic infrastructure — can be considered for the executive capital without much investment, while Amaravati can be retained as the legislative capital and Kurnool can be considered the judiciary capital, which would lead to balanced development.
Jagan said the previous TDP government had brought in a grand design of a capital city, developing 53,000 acres at a cost of Rs 1.09 lakh crore, but there were many irregularities which the House has discussed earlier. “But as and when I have that kind of amount of Rs 1.09 lakh crore, the priorities of our government would be different…,” he said.
States/UTs With ‘Second’ Capital
Dehradun is the temporary capital of Uttarakhand, with the state yet to get a permanent capital 19 years after its formation. There have been demands from several quarters to declare Gairsain in Chamoli district as the permanent capital. It has been argued that Uttarakhand was formed as a hill state and its capital should also be in the hills.
The government has held Assembly sessions in Gairsain, too, where a Vidhan Bhawan and residential buildings are being developed. However, Dehradun has a Vidhan Sabha, Secretariat, CMO. Headquarters of state bodies and regional centres of several Government of India departments are also based in Dehradun.
Nagpur is referred to as Maharashtra’s ‘second capital’, but it has no such legal status. According to former advocate general of Maharashtra, Shrihari Aney, “Nagpur was only deemed to be the second capital of Maharashtra as per the Nagpur Pact of 1953 that led to Vidarbha becoming part of Maharashtra in 1960. Since Nagpur lost its status as capital of erstwhile Central Provinces & Berar, it was declared the second capital, where the state government was supposed to move once a year. Thus, the winter session of the state legislature is held in Nagpur. It doesn’t have any legal status as a capital.”
After coming to power in 1993, then CM Virbhadra Singh started the practice of a winter sojourn in Dharamshala. He would camp there for a month in order to give greater attention to lower Himachal. The practice was followed by successive CMs and in December 2005, the Vidhan Sabha held its winter session in Dharamshala. Since then, the winter session has been held there in an Assembly complex built in 2006. A mini-secretariat was also built.
In 2017, the Congress-run government issued a notification declaring Dharamshala the ‘second capital’. The BJP soon came to power and notification is yet to be implemented. The sojourn was also discontinued. As of now, only the winter session is held in Dharamshala.
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