March 8, 2021

How Chandrababu Naidu took corruption to the next level

In the early days of political corruption, people holding high office took “gifts” to do things that should not be done, or were illegal. In course of time the same people began taking gifts fordoing routine work that was kept pending for the express purpose of soliciting gifts. But in recent times corruption in Andhra Pradesh has burgeoned to abject “misuse of political power” peppered with “parochialism”, “cronyism”, “nepotism”, “influence peddling” and of course good old “graft”. Corruption has been taken to a new pinnacle here. It has been made so cryptic that it is very difficult for the ordinary man to even get a clue.

Bifurcation chaos proves conducive

Chaos the residual state of Andhra Pradesh was plunged into after bifurcation, provided the Telugu Desam Party president of the party N Chandrababu Naidu who became Chief Minister, the ideal conditions to operate. The different projects and schemes of the Chandrababu Naidu Government, in retrospect, have turned out to be textbook cases of corruption. The Jagan Mohan Reddy government has taken it up as a challenge to bring all the sleazy into the open and ordered a spree of inquiries. As the different inquiries and probes progress more and more sordid details are seeing daylight.

1,000s of crores embezzled

Graft and embezzlement to the tune of thousands of crores in the execution of the national Polavaram project with the funds of Central Government, several other irrigation, earth and civil works executed with state and central funds, have been brought to light by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in various inquiries. There is clear indication of the involvement of Mr. Naidu in issues related to the acquiring of land for a new capital for the state and in the illegal finalizing of tenders for the Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited (APSFL) project.

CBI to inquire into Naidu’s corruption

The Jagan Mohan Reddy Government has asked the high power Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to make a thorough inquiry into these cases. The Chandrababu Naidu government focusing on the relatively insignificant issue of building a “world class capital” ignoring so many other important issues is definitely a classic case of “parochialism”. Interestingly, the people in office with the backing of Mr. Naidu, indulged in several other classic forms of corruption in the Amaravati lands case that later came to be popularly referred to as the Capital Area development Agency (CRDA) “insider trading” scam. Mr. Naidu and his team did not leave out any form of corruption during their rule.

Classic cases of “cronyism”

In a classic case of “cronyism” persons were made privy to likely locations of the capital so that they could purchase land at throw away prices and make profit once its cost shoots up. In addition to this, highly placed individuals purchased land in names of their relatives and employees (benami). A few others also indulged in fraudulent surrender of land, to the Land Pooling System (LPS) in violation of Acts like the AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfer) Act, etc. all cases tantamount to “criminal enterprise”. Top on the list of people who indulged in the range of irregularities that made them incredibly rich is the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu along with his close friend and NRI Vemuri Ravi Kumar Prasad, Uravakonda MLA Payyavula Keshav, former Minister Paritala Sunitha and a noted entrepreneur and real estate agent Lingamaneni Ramesh, according to the SIT report.

Father and son duo do the damage

The APSFL project, in which Mr. Naidu’s son and former IT Minister Nara Lokesh was also involved, it was a case of “misuse of government powers” wherein the tendering process was started without the approval of either Central or the State governments and awarded to a party that quoted 11.26% excess. The value of works was Rs 1,410 crore. According to the Cabinet Sub-committee report, the technical advisor to the Chandra babu Naidu Government Vemuri Hari Krishna, who was also a member of the different committees that processed the APSFL tenders, “illegally facilitated” the award of the tender to M/s. Tera Software. According to the Cabinet Sub-committee and SIT inquiry proceedings these two cases are just the tip of the iceberg and the worst has yet to see light of day

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