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Hyderabad will cease to exist as a joint capital after June 2 amid conflicting claims

Vijayawada: Even before the expiry of the term to continue with Hyderabad as the joint capital on June 2, 2024, Andhra Pradesh has given up its right to be the most vibrant city in the two Telugu-speaking states for various reasons.

It is alleged that TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu hastily shifted the employees and all offices of AP from Hyderabad in 2015 following the ‘vote for note’ scam. In the alleged scam, both Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, then a protégé of Naidu, and the TDP chief were accused of making payments to induce a nominated MLC to cast a vote in support of their party at the Telangana Legislative Council elections.

Naidu, as the first Chief Minister of AP, declared Amaravati as the capital of the new state on October 22, 2015 after the bifurcation. He had acquired over 30,000 hectares of Krishna Delta land from the farmers under the Land Pooling Scheme to develop what he wanted. Amaravati was declared ‘people’s capital and futuristic city’.

After a change of government in 2019, YSRCP president and Naidu’s successor YS Jagan Mohan Reddy declared the formation of three capitals viz. Visakhapatnam as executive capital, Amaravati as legislative capital and Kurnool as judicial capital as part of its decentralization plan. The YSRCP government’s special leave petition against the AP High Court’s March 3, 2022 directive is pending in the Supreme Court.

Ahead of the simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in 2024, TDP, which is now an ally of the National Democratic Alliance, promised to develop Amaravati as the sole capital of AP, while YSRCP stuck to its stand of creating three capitals . and taking oath in Visakhapatnam if elected to power. Therefore, the fate of Amaravati and Visakhapatnam depends on the outcome of the polls.

As the deadline for the end of Hyderabad as joint capital of Telangana and AP under Section 5 of the AP Reorganization Act, 2024 (which states that the joint capital will continue for 10 years till June 2, 2024), comes to an end, in the coming days .

The claim over Hyderabad has taken several twists and turns, with YSRCP general secretary and MP YV Subba Reddy retracting a statement in February shortly after saying in February that Hyderabad should continue to exist as a joint capital after a decade.

As a result of enforcing the model code of conduct, the Central Election Commission, while granting conditional permission to the Congress government in Telangana to hold cabinet meetings on May 20, has restrained it from taking any decision on issues arising after the bifurcation between the two states were pending.

AP and Telangana have simmering differences over sharing of Krishna water and payment of dues for power supply by the power companies. The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government had asked the Center several times to direct Telangana to clear power dues worth Rs 6,757 crore. On the other hand, the Revanth Reddy-led government is keen to take over Lake View Guest House and other prime properties allotted to AP as part of making Hyderabad as the joint capital.

In the general elections, Bharat Rashtra Samiti, the main opposition in Telangana, had alleged that the BJP, which has joined TDP in AP, has plans to make Hyderabad a Union Territory. BRS working president KT Rama Rao has asked voters to be aware of the BJP’s plans to capture Hyderabad from Telangana, while another BRS leader T Harish Rao, nephew of former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, has attacked both Revanth Reddy and his ‘former boss’ Chandrababu Naidu have a tacit understanding to continue with Hyderabad as joint capital after a decade.