Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan seems to be in a tight spot as he is not able to take a final decision on the Three-Capital (Decentralisation of administration) and Repeal of CRDA Bills. He is reportedly examining all the issues raised by the state government, Opposition parties, advocates and Amaravati farmers on the Bills. He is also learnt to be consulting the Centre too. He is likely to defer his decision till he gets a clear understanding on the whole issue.
Both the bills are pending clearance both in the legislature as well as judiciary but even before that, the state government had passed the Bills once again in the Assembly and sent them for the Governor’s approval which is proving troublesome to him.
It is learnt that he is extensively holding discussions with legal experts on the legal and Constitutional issues associated with the Bills. In the wake of such a situation, it is likely that his consent to the Bills might be delayed.
The state government says the Bills should get the approval of the Governor as they have been passed twice in the Assembly. Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath, who acted as the government emissary, informed the Governor that the Bills were passed for a second time in the Assembly.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Opposition parties, including TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, BJP’s Kanna Lakshminarayana, CPI leader K. Narayana told the Governor that consent to the Bills was not acceptable by law. Further, they appealed to him to send the Bills to the President’s consideration.
High Court Sadhana Samiti advocates, in a letter to the Governor, also requested him not to give his approval to the Bills. The farmers of Amaravati have been making appeals to him on a daily basis. They said that introduction of the Bills for a second time in the Assembly even when they were referred to the Select Committee was not as per the procedure. The state government which had earlier told the court that the Bills were in the Select Committee, is now, saying that the Bills were not sent to the Select Committee.
Meanwhile, some others say that the Centre had mentioned of only one capital in the AP Reorganisation Act and so, the government’s proposal of three capitals goes against it. If the capital has to be broken, then the Centre alone can do it and in such a case, the Bills have to be sent to the President, they say.
In view of the various contentions and the sensitive issues associated with the Bills, the Governor is trying to get a clear picture and then only take a decision. He is also contemplating to keep both the Bills aside for some time, if need be.
Trifurcation of the capital was proposed by the YCP government, led by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, after he was voted to power in 2019 general elections with a huge mandate of 151 MLA seats. The YCP leaders say that the mandate itself gives them the authority to take decisions regarding the welfare of the state and they feel there should be no opposition from any quarters to it. However, legal experts and Constitutional heads say the government should not forget that it should function as per the guidelines laid out in the Constitution as the country is a democracy and he is a part of it.