For a long time this question has puzzled me,

"How can a Union Territory be the capital of a state??"

P.S: Here, by "state" I don't mean the country....

For example:

Chandigarh (Union Territory) is the capital of Haryana and Punjab.

According to Wikipedia:

"Chandigarh...is a city and a union territory in the northern part of India that serves as the capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab. As a union territory, the city is ruled directly by the Union Government of India and is not part of either state."

How can a city that is not part of either of the states be the capital of one?

  • 1
    The same is true of Washington, DC. Feb 26 '15 at 14:46
  • 5
    I suppose the answer is "because someone decided it to be so?"
    – user1530
    Feb 26 '15 at 17:42

Let us understand the historical background of this situation: At the time of state reorganization (based on languages spoken), Haryana was carved out from Punjab state in 1966.

Chandigarh was the newly created city of undivided Punjab and hence both states wanted to keep Chandigarh with them considering economical prospects, development and job scenario. Both new states were ready to fight for this up to any level and Indian government was worried that It will create a law and order issue between the states. The government proposed both states to declare new capitals for their states and Chandigarh can be considered as union territory. Both Haryana and Punjab wanted to keep their claim on Chandigarh intact. Hence finally government declared Chandigarh as combined capital for both states.

Now two states can not administer same city with their own government machinery. It was not practical and would have raised many confrontation among new states. Hence finally union government declared Chandigarh as joint capital and it can be administered as an union territory. Governor of Punjab administers Chandigarh city.

  • 1
    Now two states can not administer same city with their own government machinery. -- Has there ever been a futile attempt in India or other nations to support this fact? Also, contrary to your claim, Hyderabad is also a capital of two states yet not a Union Territory,.
    – Firelord
    Mar 29 '15 at 17:33
  • Just wanted to highlight Hyderabad is temporarily the capital of Andhra Prasesh(till 2024). Dec 19 '18 at 11:48

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