The State government has engaged the services of senior legal counsel and former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi to defend the case relating to the capital issue filed in the High Court. The government issued G.O. No. 1 on Wednesday allocating ₹5 crore for the purpose. The government would pay Mr. Mukul Rohatgi ₹1 crore as advance.
A writ petition was filed in the High Court against the Central and State governments, seeking a direction to the State government to continue the developmental activities and current plans in the notified capital area of Amaravati. The Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh opined that the services of Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, who is an expert in Constitutional Law, should be engaged as senior counsel to defend the case on behalf of the government.
After examining the suggestion, the government decided to engage the services of Mr. Mukul Rohatgi.
“We are not changing the capital as such. We are only adding two new capitals. Amaravati will remain the same. We will not do any injustice to any region,” the Chief Minister asserted. Listing out his government’s priorities related to welfare and development, the Chief Minister maintained that it was not in a position to spend lakhs of crores of rupees on building a city (Amaravati).
“The Legislative Capital will remain here (Amaravati) only,” he noted. Several ministers and ruling party MLAs, who spoke on the Bill, hit out strongly at the former Chief Minister, accusing him of indulging in a scandal in the name of building the state capital.
The TDP legislators, on the other hand, tried to defend the Amaravati project and said thousands of farmers gave up their fertile agricultural lands for it.
“You can’t demean the sacrifice of the farmers,” they said. The lone member of Jana Sena Rapaka Varaprasad too supported the government on the three capitals, violating the party stand.
Moving the Bill on the first day of the extended winter session, Finance and Legislative Affairs Minister Buggana Rajendranath said the government decided to enact a new legislation for decentralisation and inclusive development of all regions in the state for ensuring “balanced and inclusive growth” of AP.
“Regional imbalances, absence of equitable growth have caused an acute sense of deprivation among various sections of the state population, leading to disturbances. The logical solution would be to lay emphasis on distributed development and decentralised administration to ensure fruits of socio-economic progress are enjoyed equally by people of various regions,” the minister said, quoting the recommendations of the high-powered committee of ministers and bureaucrats, which formed the basis of the new legislation.
The AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, also 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 in October last year now gets statutory backing as it has been made part of the new Bill. The TDP members raised objection to the introduction of the Bill and stormed the Speaker’s podium. Amid the din, the government also moved another Bill to repeal the AP Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014.
#AP3CapitalsCase #AmaravatiWomen #Vennela
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