In a significant development in the Rajya Sabha, YSR Congress Party member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy moved a Constitution Amendment Bill (CAB) on Friday seeking the provision of explicit legislative competence to the State Legislatures to establish one or more capitals within their territories.
As per a YSRCP release, the States had powers to decide where to set up a capital city and if they needed more than one capital.
However, Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy wanted Article 3-A be inserted in the Constitution to clearly enable the States to have one or more capitals as per their choice.
It was a private member Bill, which would have far-reaching implications for the States in terms of their decision on capital cities, if at all it was debated and passed.
Nevertheless, by moving it, the YSRCP once again made clear its intention to have three capitals, notwithstanding the setback suffered by it in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the continuing stiff resistance to it from the farmers.
Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy moved another Bill for making an amendment to the Representation of the People Act in order to give MPs or MLAs, who were either in custody or under trial in any case, the right to vote in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections.
Besides, he moved a Bill for vesting with the Press Council of India the powers that would ensure greater accountability of news channels and digital news platforms, which were “spreading fake news.”
Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question asked by Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy, Union Railway Minister Ahswini Vaishnaw said that survey work was in progress on the dedicated freight corridors between Kharagpur and Vijayawada, and Vijayawada and Itarsi, and they were not yet sanctioned.
However, a decision would be taken after the completion of the survey, depending on their techno-economic feasibility and financial aspects.