Jagan meets Shah, asks to begin process of shifting HC to Kurnool as per 3 capitals plan
YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday requested the Centre to initiate the process of relocating state High Court from Amaravati to Kurnool, as part of the formation of three capital cities for the state for decentralisation of administration.
CM Jagan, who flew down to New Delhi in the evening, made a representation to this effect to Union home minister Amit Shah with whom he had an hour-long meeting in the night. YSRC parliamentary party leader V Vijay Sai Reddy and other party MPs, including P Mithun Reddy, YS Avinash Reddy, V Prabhakar Reddy and M Bharat, were also present at the meeting.
This is the second meeting of Jagan with Amit Shah in the last three months. It was only four days ago that Jagan’s Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao had a similar meeting with the Union home minister.
KCR had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day later, apart from a couple of other Union ministers. However, Jagan is unlikely to meet the Prime Minister but would return to Vijayawada on Wednesday morning, a YSRC leader familiar with the development said.
An official release from the chief minister’s office said Jagan had brought to the notice of the Union home minister that the state legislature had passed a legislation in August seeking to form three capitals for Andhra Pradesh – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.
“As part of this exercise, the Centre has to begin the process for relocation of the state high court to Kurnool. The chief minister requested that the Centre issues a notification to this effect,” the CMO release said, adding that Jagan had reminded Shah of the Bharatiya Janata Party 2019 manifesto which mentioned the location of state high court in Kurnool.
The chief minister brought to the notice the devastation caused by Cyclone Nivar in several districts of the state in the last week of November. The estimated crop loss alone was in 4.91 lakh hectares. “He requested the Centre to extend liberal financial assistance to the state for the relief measures,” the party leader said.
He also sought Shah’s intervention in approving the revised cost estimates of Rs 55,656 crore for the completion of Polavaram major irrigation project on Godavari river as per 2017-18 rates. The Union ministry of finance approved the project cost of Rs 20,398 crore only as per 2013-14 costs.
He said the cost of land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement itself would be around Rs 29,000 crore as per the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, as the number of families to be evacuated had gone up from 44,575 in 2005-06 to 1.06 lakh. He also sought Shah’s help in securing the release of Rs 1,779 crore due to be reimbursed to the state towards pending bills since December 2018.
The chief minister explained in detail the measures being taken by the state government in tackling Covid-19 pandemic and how the state government was implementing various welfare schemes despite the precarious situation. He also explained the preparedness of the state in distributing Covid-19 vaccine on priority basis once it is made available.
Other demands put forth by CM Jagan included, certification from Union energy ministry to enable borrowing of more funds for the state, the release of Rs 1,600 crore dues towards public distribution system and Rs 4,308 crore dues from the Centre towards GST compensation, Rs 1,111.53 crore dues to local bodies, as per 14th finance commission recommendations, Rs 1,954 crore dues as per 15th finance commission grants to local bodies and Rs 3,801 crore towards employment guarantee scheme.
He also wanted the Union home ministry’s approval to the revised AP Disha Act, which was amended recently as per the suggestions of the Centre, for speedy trial of cases pertaining to atrocities on women and children.
The chief minister also reiterated his demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged irregularities in land transactions in Amaravati capital region during the previous Telugu Desam Party regime.