Hyderabad: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s letter to his successor Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday asking for permission to use the state government-owned Praja Vedika office, adjacent to his residence at Undavalli, is being seen as a clever move.
The Praja Vedika office was constructed beside Mr Naidu’s residence when he was Chief Minister. At that time, Mr Reddy, who was YSR Congress president, had alleged that Mr Naidu was residing in a house which was constructed illegally.
The state government found that the residence of Mr Naidu at Undavalli was constructed on the Krishna riverbed and fell foul of the River Conservation Act. Many other houses also came up along the riverbed.
When Mr Naidu was Chief Minister, the state government constructed the Praja Vedika beside his residence on the Krishna riverbed. Mr Reddy had pointed out the illegality of this several times in the Assembly when he was Opposition leader.
Given this background, if Mr Reddy now allots the building to Mr Naidu, YSRC leaders cannot use it as an issue to attack the Telugu Desam (TD) president. If they do, TD leaders can ask how come the YSRC government allotted the building to Mr Naidu.
A TD leader said that if Mr Reddy does not allot the Praja Vedika to Mr Naidu, they can politicise the issue and criticise the state government and Mr Reddy for being vindictive. This area is part of the Mangalagiri Assembly constituency represented by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, who defeated then TD minister Nara Lokesh. He has been fighting to remove the building housing Mr Naidu's residence and other constructions on the Krishna riverbed or those in violation of the River Conservation Act. He has filed petitions in the court against these constructions.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Ramakrishna Reddy asked how the government could allot Praja Vedika when it was constructed illegally. He said his petition will be heard on June 12 in the AP High Court. He will continue the legal battle over unauthorised and illegal constructions on the riverbed, he said.
Mr Ramakrishna Reddy said that when he asked the executive engineer of the River Conservation Authority in Vijayawada about the unauthorised constructions, the official expressed ignorance. The MLA said the National Green Tribunal had found that many illegal structures had come up along the riverbed, violating the provisions of the River Conservation Act.
He said that the NGT had slapped a fine of `100 crore on the Naidu government for allowing sand mining in the Krishna riverbed. He said he is surprised at Mr Naidu's request to allot Praja Vedika to him....