What made Andhra CM withdraw 3-capital legislation

What made Andhra Pradesh CM withdraw 3-capital legislation

The YSRCP government introduced a Bill repealing the capital decentralisation legislation passed over a year back

Jagan-anna maata tappadu, madama tippadu (Jagan never breaks his word, never backs down) is the favourite catchphrase of YSRCP supporters, used to send out a message to detractors questioning the Andhra Pradesh chief minister's actions, intentions.

But these fans of Jaganmohan Reddy were also taken aback on Monday forenoon when his government submitted to the AP high court its decision to withdraw the three capitals legislation.

Amaravati farmers, who have been agitating for about two years now, erupted in joy and shared sweets, while astute politicians like TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu waited to react.

Also Read | Fear of adverse court judgement forced Jagan to withdraw 3 capital act: TDP and BJP

Three hours later, the YSRCP government introduced a Bill repealing the capital decentralisation legislation passed over a year back. Reddy said the withdrawal now is only “to bring in more comprehensive, infallible bills later to effectively counter any legal or public scrutiny.”

Hearing a slew of petitions including that of farmers, who had parted with fertile lands in return for benefits offered by the previous TDP government, the high court had in August 2020 stopped Reddy from moving the state's executive from Amaravati to Vizag. Earlier this month, a three-judge bench headed by the chief justice resumed daily proceedings on the matter.

“The laws were in contravention of the AP Reorganization Act 2014 provisions, and breaching the agreements made between the farmers and the state. They were enacted last year without the attestation of the legislative council chairman in utter disregard of the rules. The way our arguments were presented last week, the state's legal officers would have realized that the court might not find the laws tenable,” Lakshmi Narayana, one of the advocates representing farmers, told DH.

Read | Andhra Pradesh government withdraws 3-capital legislation

Opposition TDP, BJP and JanaSena too stated that Reddy feared an adverse verdict from the court, which could totally derail his capital shift plans.

However, a version doing the rounds in the state is that Jagan's decision is following advice from a key figure in the central government, which itself has dropped the contentious farm laws just days back.

“The act was annulled because there were some procedural lapses. A new bill would be brought in with wider consensus,” Kurasala Kannababu, minister for agriculture told DH while trashing any other reason as mere rumour.

The quick turn of events dashed the jubilation of Amaravati farmers, while the uncertainty over AP's capital location continues.

“This appears to be some Jagan-natakam (a mysterious drama) to divert the attention from serious issues and people's mistrust building against the YSRCP government,” sighed TDP chief Naidu, "the architect of Amaravati", in a meeting with his party men in the evening.

Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox