In a massive development, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday has approved the 3-city capital plan in the three-day Assembly session called for this issue. The bills proposing the Secretariat to be situated in Visakhapatnam, High court in Kurnool and State Assembly at Amaravati too has been introduced in the Assembly. The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in Amaravati has approved the findings of the report by the High Power Committee constituted to look into the 3-capital recommendations.
Reports state both the cabinet meeting and Assembly sessions were being held amid tight police cover in the Amaravati, Vijayawada and Guntur to prevent agitators from laying siege to the State Assembly. Opposition parties including TDP have given a 'Chalo Assembly' call, protesting against the shift of capital from Amaravati. Several TDP leaders including the party MPs, MLCs, former ministers and ex-MLAs and key leaders from across the state were placed under house arrest by the police ahead of the session.
Earlier on December 27, the Jagan government had decided to defer the decision to shift the capital from Amaravati, amid severe farmer protests. Speaking to ANI, state minister Perni Venkatramaiah revealed that the cabinet has decided to constitute a high-level committee to study reports of GN Rao committee & Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report and then decide on a capital based on the report. The committees had recommended Visakhapatnam as the executive capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital and Amaravati as the legislative capital to decentralize development in the state.
Farmers have been protesting for the past month since Reddy's '3-capital' idea was announced, demanding the government to drop the move to shift the state capital from Amaravati. Defying the prohibitory order and not heeding the police warning to vacate the place and remove the tents, farmers continued the dharna, holding the national flag, on the main road in the village leading to the state Secretariat. Moreover, several journalists and a YRSCP MLA too joined the protest and clashed with the police, ahead of the special session.
After coming to power, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had scrapped the Start-Up Area Development Project in Amaravati which had been started by the previous TDP government. The Amaravati Development Corporation which had allotted Rs. 2118 crores to develop infrastructure in the new capital has been stalled since World bank stopped its $300 million funding in developing the new capital after complaints were reportedly received from farmers and various organisations. In 2018, after the government's announcement, farmers who had voluntarily offered about 90% of the 38,581-acre land required for the new capital city in Amaravati, are now jolted by the stalling of development in Amaravati.