New Delhi, August 7: The Union Home Ministry has informed the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday that the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a matter to be decided by the state government and the Centre has no role in it.

In a case between petitioner Potluri Srinivasa Rao and respondents Union of India and others, filed in 2018, under-secretary in the Union Home Ministry Lalita T. Hedaoo filed a counteraffidavit in the AP High Court.

The counter-affidavit mentioned that under Section 6 of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Union Government had constituted an expert committee on March 28, 2014 under the chairmanship of K.C. Sivaramakrishnan to study alternatives for a new capital for the state of Andhra Pradesh, Deccan Chronicle reported.

The panel submitted its report on August 30 of the same year, which was sent to AP government two days later on September 1. The affidavit mentioned that the state government issued an order dated April 23, 2015 notifying the capital city to be named as ‘Amaravati’. It further said that, ‘The capital city of a state is decided by the respective state government. The central government has no role in it.”

The affidavit also mentioned that the AP government through Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020 which was published in the state gazette notification on 31/07/2020, has provided that there shall be three seats of governance in the state and they are to be called as capitals.

Accordingly, Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Area to be called as ‘Legislative Capital’, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Area to be called as ‘Executive Capital’ and Kurnool Urban Development Area to be called as ‘Judicial Capital.’ The affidavit also mentioned several other issues including 100% funding from the Centre for execution of Polavaram irrigation project.

However, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in a statement released here on Thursday called for Centre’s intervention under Article 355 of Indian Constitution by saying that the Centre could intervene in state affairs in case of an external aggression and internal disturbance and also in case the state failed to be administered in compliance with provisions of the Constitution.

He stated the controversy dealing with setting up three capitals, needs to be resolved by the President, the Centre or the judiciary.

Referring to BJP’s promise to come to the rescue of affected farmers due to relocation of executive capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam, the senior TD legislator said that the Centre was having exceptional powers to address the issue. However, he opined that ultimately the people would decide on the state’s move to set up three capitals in the state.

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