AMARAVATI: The Centre has one more time reiterated that it would not interfere in finalizing the state capital for Andhra Pradesh. Filing an affidavit to this effect in the Andhra Pradesh High Court one more time, the government of India has also categorically stated that there is statutory provision in any legislation which stipulates that a state should have only one capital.
It also sought to clear the misreading or tweaking of relevant sections, stating that the definition of a state capital under section 13 does not mean its confinement to only one place. The Central government in its affidavit stated that in 2018, the then Andhra Pradesh government has established the high court in Amaravati. “By the mere presence of the high court in Amaravati, it cannot be considered as the only capital.
More importantly, the Centre unequivocally stated in its affidavit filed before the Andhra Pradesh High Court that the final call in deciding the state capital rests solely with the state government.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the Union Home Ministry has filed an affidavit in the state high court on the three capitals issues. On August 6, under-secretary of Union home ministry Lalita T Hedaoo filed a counter-affidavit in the AP High Court, stating that the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a matter for the state government to decide. The counter-affidavit clarified that the Centre would have no role in the finalization of the state capital.
The counter-affidavit was filed in a case between Potluri Srinivasa Rao, who petitioned the high court against the state government’s proposal to create three capitals, and respondents the Union government besides others. The counter-affidavit stated that under section 6 of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Centre had constituted an expert panel on March 28, 2014, under the chairmanship of K C Sivaramakrishnan to study the alternatives for a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, the residuary state of the erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh following its bifurcation and the creation of a separate Telangana state.
The counter-affidavit stated that the expert committee submitted its detailed report on August 30, 2014, which was then referred to the then Andhra Pradesh government two days later, i.e., on September 1. “The capital city of a state is decided by the respective state government. The central government has no role in it,” the counter-affidavit clarified.