Visakhapatnam to become new Andhra Pradesh capital: CM Jagan Reddy

31 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Jagan Mohan Reddy National

Andhra Pradesh's future capital will be Visakhapatnam, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Tuesday afternoon.

Andhra Pradesh’s future capital will be Visakhapatnam, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Tuesday afternoon, 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 formed and awarded Hyderabad as its capital.

The YSR Congress chairman stated at a gathering in Delhi: “… I invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself will also be shifting 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.

He urged investors to “visit us and see… how easy it is to do business in the state of Andhra Pradesh” during the International Diplomatic Alliance meeting in Delhi. The identity of Andhra Pradesh’s new capital, for which over 33,000 acres of land had been seized from farmers around Amaravati, has been the source of social, legal, economic, and political strife in recent 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, with the latter serving as the legislative city, Kurnool as the judicial capital, and Visakhapatnam serving as the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra 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.