Inviting investors to the Global Investment Summit (GIS), which will be hosted in Visakhapatnam in the first week of March, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy stated on Tuesday that the state capital will be moved there and that he will have his office there.
“Here I am to invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself would also be shifting over to Visakhapatnam in the months to come,” he told the investors at the meeting.
This comes four months after the Andhra Pradesh high court’s judgement for the state government to finish the Amaravati construction by March 2023 was delayed by the Supreme Court.
The Andhra Pradesh high court rejected the idea of having three capitals in March of last year and ordered the government to make Amaravati the state capital instead.
In order to establish Amaravati as the new state capital, then-state chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu purchased 33,000 acres of land from farmers in 2015. Naidu stated that the new metropolis would be built using the Singapore model.
When Andhra Pradesh was split into two states in 2013–2014, Telangana gained control of the state’s capital, Hyderabad, from Andhra Pradesh. According to the Andhra-Telangana Reorganization Act, the centre agreed to give Andhra Pradesh enough money to build a new capital.
The state’s three capitals—Kurnool as the judicial capital, Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, and Amaravati as the legislative capital—were to be developed, according to CM Jagan Reddy, who took office in 2019.
The Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, which establishes three capitals, was enacted by the state’s legislative assembly in 2020.
Farmers in Amaravati, united under the name of Rajadhani Rythu Parirakshana Samiti, challenged the new law, claiming that the state government had taken possession of their property on the condition that Amaravati would be established as a fully functional state capital.
After hearings, the Andhra Pradesh high court ruled in their favour, directing the state government to finish all construction in Amaravati by March 2023 in order to turn it into the state capital.
According to a three-judge high court panel led by Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra and including Justices M Satyanarayana Murthy and DVSS Somayajulu, the state government lacked the “legislative competence” to change or abolish Amaravati as the seat of the state’s three civic pillars—the legislature, executive branch, and judiciary.
The Jagan Reddy administration contested the 307-page decision in September, claiming that it violated the fundamental principles of the constitution since the “state does not have the ability to decide on its capital.”
Despite the ongoing Supreme Court litigation, a number of ministers in Andhra Pradesh have explicitly stated that the state administration would introduce a new bill on the three capitals problem. However, the law received no official announcement.