The location of the High Court in Andhra Pradesh had become a bone of contention among the people of the three regions, Uttarandhra, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. Amidst speculation that the present YSR Congress government is planning to shift the High Court to Rayalaseema, had kicked off this controversy. People and advocates in the three regions are coming on to the streets. The issue took new turn with finance minister Buggana Rajendranath hinting at the possible shift of the High Court to Rayalaseema.
The High Court for the state was bifurcated on December 31, 2018 and the new High Court for the State started working from January 1, 2019. The irrigation building in Vijayawada, which was earlier used as the chief minister’s camp office and now as Raj Bhavan, hosted the High Court for an initial period of three months. It was then shifted to the court building at Nelapadu in the capital city. The judges and the advocates have found their houses in Vijayawada, Guntur, Tadepalli and Mangalagiri to be available to the court at Nelapadu.
However, with the change of government after the 2019 general elections, the talk about the possibility of the High Court being shifted to Rayalaseema had become a contentious issue in the State. The advocates and the people of Rayalaseema are asking for the high court in their region. They have a reason as the High Court or Assembly was promised to this region when Andhra State was formed from Madras in 1953. As the capital (Assembly) was opened in Kurnool, the High Court was then opened at Guntur. Now, after 2014 bifurcation, the capital (Assembly) was fixed in Vijayawada (Amaravati), the Rayalaseema people are asking for High Court.
The people of Uttarandhra, too are making a similar demand and want High Court in Visakhapatnam. There are protests being held in the three north coastal districts. However, the people of the coastal districts, which are not part of Rayalaseema and Uttarandhra have also joined the protests opposing the move to shift the high court from Vijayawada.
It is to be seen how the State government would handle this contentious issue, amidst protests in all the three regions