Vijayawada: In a surprise move, the AP government took over the Praja Vedika, the building next to the residence of former chief minister and TD president N. Chandrababu Naidu in Undavalli. The government’s move has raised many eyebrows because the YSRC, when it was in the opposition, had alleged that the building was an illegal construction on the Krishna riverbed.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will hold his first collectors’ conference on Monday at Praja Vedika.
The government-owned Praja Vedika was used by Mr Naidu when he was Chief Minister to hold meetings with officials, host dignitaries and press conferences and government-related programmes. After the elections, he had written to Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, seeking permission to use the premises to carry out his duties as leader of the Opposition.
Earlier, YSRC Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy had said that after the party came to power, that government would evict Mr Naidu from his residence as it was constructed illegally on the riverbed for which notices were served earlier by the district administration. Mr Reddy has been fighting a legal battle on illegal constructions on the riverbed.
Officials from the state GAD department, revenue wing of the Guntur district and CRDA went to Praja Vedika on Friday afternoon and formally took over the premises. After the polls, Mr Naidu has been using Praja Vedika for party activities and to meet party workers coming from various parts of the state. The GAD and the CRDA officials asked the TD leaders to vacate the building and take away their material and other belongings.
Interestingly this happened when Mr Naidu is away in Europe on a holiday.
Government sources said that though it was initially decided to hold Monday’s collectors’ conference at the conference hall in the 5th block of the Secretariat, due to space constraints, it decided to take over Praja Vedika and hold the conference.
Reacting to the government decision, former minister Prathipati Pulla Rao criticised the government for taking over the Praja Vedika when Mr Naidu was away in Europe. He condemned the government’s action and and said it had not followed norms and traditions.