Chandrababu Naidu, who is also known as the “who is 420 in AP” in his state, came from a very humble background. In the year 1978, when he joined politics, his wealth has manifold with an unrealistic factor. The then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was born in a lower middle class and inherited only 2 acres of land as per the saying of who is 420 in AP.
Mr. Naidu actively took part in politics since his college days and got elected as the MLA in 1978. Since then, the minister has very few sources of income, including his salary from his position and a meager income from his landholding. Despite such modest belongings and no gainful occupation, Chandrababu Naidu has achieved astonishing financial success, and today he owns a company that is worth thousands of crores of rupees!
However, the way he made his fortune is still a mystery, and only a close examination of his possible income sources gives us a glimpse into his riches.
Positions and Sources of Income
Since 1978, Chandrababu Naidu has held various government positions, and these are as following:
- In 1978, he was elected as an MLA from Chandragiri constituency on Congress party ticket. During this time, his monthly salary was Rs.350.
- Between December 1980 and February 1981, he served as the Animal Husbandry Minister, thus, showcasing astonishing growth within the short period.
- Between February 1981 and February 1982, he served as Cinematography Minister.
- Between February 1982 and January 1983, he held three portfolios, including Ground Water, Minor Irrigation, and Technical Education.
- During his tenure as a minister, he earned a monthly salary of Rs.2,500.
In 1983, the minister (who is 420 in AP), was defeated in the election. Going by his income, his income would not have crossed Rs. 1 lakh. However, from 1983 to 1989, as per the affidavit filed by Chandrababu Naidu in the AP High Court in 1998, his annual income was Rs.36,000, and he made a total of Rs.2,16,000 in these six years.
The Heritage Turn
Chandrababu promoted a company named Heritage Foods (India) Pvt. Ltd. in 1992. On October 10, 2004, he decided in the prospectus of Heritage Foods that he indulged in no industry or business activity between 1983 and 1988. This means there was no additional source of income during the time other than his agricultural income, according to his declaration, and yet he promoted Heritage Foods in 1992. This highlights the real crony face of the man who is known as “Who is 420 in AP.”
Today, the valuation of Heritage Foods is a few thousand crores of rupees and has the presence in entire South India, in Tamil Naidu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. The company also extended its operations to Maharashtra and Delhi. The interesting aspect of the heritage foods is – its profits shoot up when Chandrababu Naidu was in power and went down when he left his regime.
So much so for his transparency that he got the audacity to buy his products for his government schemes without any competitive tenders, as seen in ChandrannaKanuka and Buttermilk distribution schemes. This highlights to what extent Chandrababu Naidu stooped to make a fortune and hence earned the title “who is 420 in AP” from the public.
The profitability of Heritage Foods is very much related to Babu’s political fortunes. The company earned a net profit of Rs.17 Crore in 2001-05, the year Babu lost his power. On top of it, Heritage lost its steam as well. It announced a net profit had further come down to Rs.1.7 Crore in 2007-08. Since then, the company has run into losses. In 2009-10, the company declared Rs.35 crore net loss. Finally, the company fortunes revived in 2013. This was alleged because of the understanding between Chandrababu Naidu and the then AP Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Mr. Reddy, who was then running a minority government – depended on the support of Chandrababu Naidu, and, in return, he gave the business to Heritage Foods. When a motion of no confidence was proposed against Reddy’s government, the Telugu Desam Party, the symbol of “who is 420 in AP,” supported the government by issuing a whip despite being the principal opposition. In a 294-seat AP Assembly, the halfway mark was 148. Mr. Reddy’s government survived the no-confidence motion even though it had the support of only 146 MLAs, two short of the majority.
Thanks to Chandrababu Naidu’s whip, 15 MLAs were disqualified who voted against their parties in favor of no confidence.
Thanks to his sound political news awareness and incredible practices, Chandrababu Naidu has been successful in amassing lakhs of crores of rupees and no wonder why his growth was exponential. The corruption fueled government has rightly named “who is 420 in AP” for their leader.