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Can Centre intervene in Andhra capital row?

Can Centre intervene in Andhra capital row?

For the last one week, farmers of Amaravati region have been agitating against the three capitals plan of YSR Congress party government in Andhra Pradesh led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

While their agitation is understandable, they have nothing much to do since it is the policy decision of the state government to shift the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam and judicial capital to Kurnool, while retaining legislative capital at Amaravati.

However, the lawyers opposing Jagan’s decision have moved the state high court to see whether there is a possibility of judicial intervention.

At the same time, some leaders have advised the farmers to approach the Delhi bosses seeking central intervention.

On Tuesday, hundreds of farmers from Amaravati sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through speed post seeking his intervention in preventing shifting of capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.

They explained in detail how they would be at huge loss if the capital is shifted and they requested the Prime Minister to ensure that the capital is continued in Amaravati and developmental works are continued as per the master plan.

In a bid to get the support from the BJP leaders as well, they are using Modi’s pictures at their dharna centres.

But one wonders whether the Centre has any powers to undo the decision of Jagan on the three capitals issue, since it is a state subject. The Centre can intervene only if there is a law and order issue arising out of Jagan’s decision.

At the most, Modi might call Jagan and try to convince him to drop the proposal. If that does not work out, the centre might reject any kind of assistance to the state for the capital issue. Or it might even ask the state to pay back the amount given to the state for capital city at Amaravati.

In any case, it is Jagan’s call to decide the capital and the Centre has little to do in this matter, say analysts.

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Tags: Andhra Pradesh Amaravathi CM Jagan