As per the High Court’s verdict in favour of the continuance of Amaravati as the capital of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, the moot question is: What are the options before the Andhra Pradesh government headed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy now.  All eyes are now on Jagan’s next move in this regard.

Plots allotted to farmers, who had given up 32,000 acres of land in all to the then TDP government for construction of the new capital city for the residuary AP, should developed and handed over to them within six months– the time fixed by the High Court.

This has brought cheers to the farmers who have been agitating for more than two years. The High Court brushed aside the argument of the state government that three capitals would be set up for the purpose of decentralisation.

The government had earlier come up with the proposal of setting up of three capitals:  Amaravati (Legislature), Visakhapatnam (executive) and Kurnool (Judiciary). The government had linked the issue of three capitals with decentralisation.

This official narrative has been taken to people through widespread publicity making them think that the three capitals are inevitable to take the fruits of development to even the backward and interior regions.

Jagan had initially opposed the idea of Amaravati as the sole capital. For, the Amaravati region had been the bastion of the Telugu Desam Party for several years. Jagan had even suggested that the proposed capital site could be shifted to Donakonda of Prakasam district, which is nearer to the Rayalaseema region. A committee headed by Sivaramakrishnan was tasked to suggest a site for the construction of the capital city there. After making field visits, the committee submitted its report suggesting that Donakonda could be the final destination for the proposed capital city.

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The panel rejected the case for making Amaravati the capital on the grounds that its lose soil would not be fit for huge constructions required for a capital city. Then TDP regime headed by Chandrababu Naidu rejected the recommendations and stated that it was the state government’s prerogative to determine which place would be the capital city.

Finally, the foundation stone was laid for the new capital city of Amaravati by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the change of guard in Andhra Pradesh, the Jagan government betrayed it aversion towards Amaravati because of the political equations there. Although YSR Congress Party has majority of seats in the two central Andhra districts of Krishna and Guntur that comprises the capital region, it has its own fears that public sentiment may go against the ruling party in the days to come with regards to the capital issue.

As things stand, the prospects of the Jagan government challenging the verdict of the AP High Court by knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court are not ruled out.
Farmers and the general public who have been on the war path for the cause of Amaravati have great confidence in the Supreme Court as Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, who hails from Krishna district, appears to be sympathetic towards the cause of Amaravati.

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The recent visit of CJ to his native village has boosted confidence levels among farmers. However, Jagan’s coterie is believed to be not optimistic on getting a positive response from the Supreme Court in this regard.

If the SC upholds the verdict of the HC, then it will be a big blow to the YSRC government. So, the ruling YSRC may choose to drag the issue for some more period.

This perhaps explains why Minister for Municipal Administration Botsa Satyanarayana latched on to having Hyderabad as the joint capital for Telugu states till 2024.

Observers are surprised as eight years have passed since The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 came into force, providing for Hyderabad as the joint capital for both states for a period of 10 years (2014-24).

Does it mean that Jagan is contemplating to shift to Hyderabad? Will his political friend and Telangana counterpart K. Chandrasekhar Rao agree to this even if he is sympathetic towards Andhra Pradesh?

KCR is believed to be the master mind behind the ‘cash for vote’ episode in which he strategically ‘fixed’ his one-time political guru and then his counterpart of AP Chandrababu Naidu.

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Finally Chandrababu had to leave Hyderabad, shifting his administrative set-up to Vijayawada. Naidu had in fact spent Rs. 20 crore to ensure that AP Secretariat buildings in Hyderabad have well-furnished looks. Jagan had a political equation with his TS’ counterpart KCR for betterment of his position. So, he ‘surrendered’ his party to KCR by almost scrapping the nascent political organization, though YSR Congress won 1 Lok Sabha and three Assembly seats in Telangana.

Surprising everybody, Jagan did not question the act of KCR who had admitted four YSRC public representatives into TRS’ fold. At the same, in AP, a few MLAs of the Telugu Desam Party ‘voluntarily’ shifted their loyalties to TRS. The same Jagan had given away the AP-related Secretariat buildings to KCR on the advice of combined Governor ESL Narasimhan at an iftar hosted by KCR.

Now even if Jagan takes a firm decision to shift his administration to Hyderabad, there is no place for him, not even a shade of tree there. The AP government has informed the High Court that it would be withdrawing the Bill regarding three capitals in the Assembly. It stated that it would come again with a new piece of legislation on three capitals as it was committed to decentralisation of administration.  How long will Jagan drag on without bringing the issue to a logical conclusion? #KhabarLive #hydnews