Visakhapatnam to be the New Capital of Andhra Pradesh, says CM of Andhra
Visakhapatnam to be the New Capital of Andhra Pradesh, says Chief Minister Shri Jagan Reddy
Andra Pradesh’s future capital will be Visakhapatnam, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Tuesday afternoon i.e. 31 January 2023, indicating that plans to develop Amaravati – on the banks of the Krishna river – as the state capital had been abandoned.
The announcement of a new capital for Andhra comes nine years after the state of Telangana was created and awarded Hyderabad as its capital. At an event in Delhi the YSR Congress chief said:
… I invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself will also be shitting to Visakhapatnam in the months to come.” “We’re organising a global summit… an investors summit on March 3-4 (in Visakhapatnam) (and I want) to take this opportunity to personally invite all of you to the summit… and request all of you to not only come but also put in a good word, a strong word, to colleagues abroad, ” the chief minister said.
At the International Diplomatic Alliance meet in Delhi he urged investors to ‘visit us and see… how easy it is do to business in the state of Andhra Pradesh’. The identity of a new capital for Andhra Pradesh – for which over 33,000 acres of land had been acquired from farmers around Amaravati – has been the source of social, legal, economic and political friction over the past several years.
Former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced in 2015 that Amaravati will be the capital, but five years later, a proposal to have three capital cities was launched. According to that plan, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool would join Amaravati; the latter would be the legislative city, Kurnool the judicial capital, and Visakhapatnam the executive capital of Andra Pradesh. The Andra Pradesh High Court ruled against the plan to establish three capitals in March of last year, instead directing the government to develop Amaravati. The court ruled that the legislature lacked the authority to make such choices.
The state overturned the statute designed to establish three capital cities in November, promising a ‘comprehensive, complete, and better’ proposal. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the Supreme Court delayed that judgement, stating that “courts are not governments” and that the High Court had overstepped its bounds. Meanwhile, during the back-and-forth for a new capital, Amaravati became the epicentre of a land fraud, an allegation levelled by the ruling YSR Congress against its rival and former government group, the Telugu Desam Party.