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Roundup: From capital row to council abolition!

Roundup: From capital row to council abolition!

The special session of the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, which began a week ago with the introduction of bills to do away with the AP Capital Region Development Authority that was created to develop Amaravati as the capital city and decentralisation of administration by creating three capitals for the state – ended up with the abolition of the state legislative council.

When the special session began on January 20, nobody would have expected that YSR Congress party president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy would go in for abolition of legislative council. 

No doubt, there was a talk last month itself that Jagan was considering abolition of the legislative council when it returned two bills – one on introduction of English medium in government schools and second one on creation of separate commissions for SCs and STs. 

The YSRC chief was obviously irritated when the council with a majority of the TDP members stalled the bills last month.

He had anticipated a similar situation in the case of crucial bills on the capital city. But he might have thought the bills would come back to the assembly where they would be debated again and passed, since the assembly is the final authority.

But Jagan had not expected that the TDP would invoke the Rule 71 to oppose the bills and later, the chairman would use his discretionary powers to send them to the select committee. 

Though the YSRC government is nothing much to lose with these developments, except that the plan to shift the capitals would get delayed by three or four months.

Jagan has so much mandate from the people in the assembly that he can take any decision with regard to the capital.

But the developments in the council gave an ultimate blow to Jagan’s ego so much that he decided to do away with the Upper House, so that there would be no more hurdles for him in the coming days and there should not be any voice of dissent against his decisions.

So, what began with the plan to shift the capital has now ended up in abolition of council. And naturally, it has become the headlines for all the local English and vernacular media, which took their own stand to support or criticise the decision of the Jagan government.

The three major dailies – Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy and Sakshi interpreted Jagan’s comments on the abolition of the legislative council.

The anti-establishment dailies highlighted his statement that it was waste to spend even a rupee on the legislative council, along with TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s counter-attack wondering whether it was worse than spending Rs 30 crore on Jagan’s attendance in the courts.

Sakshi, however, quoted Jagan’s defence on abolition of council saying it was being done only in the interests of the people. It also carried Naidu’s version expressing regrets over the abolition of council and also the statements of YSRC MLCs and ministers from the council supporting the decision.

Both the anti-establishment dailies carried the high court’s directions to the government against painting of panchayat offices  with YSRC party colours.


Tags: Amaravati APCRDA Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy News Scan AP Legislative Council