Telugu Desam Terms IT Notice Election-eve Stunt

Vijayawada: The Telugu Desam has said the fuss over the I-T department notice to its party chief Chandrababu Naidu on the Amaravati construction funds irregularities was part of an election-eve stunt by the ruling YSRC.

What has come out of the four years of inquiries by the YSRC government into alleged land scam in Amaravati during Naidu’s rule, TD leaders have asked.

The I-T notice to Chandababu Naidu was about an undisclosed income of Rs 118 crore routed to him by Shapoorji and Pallonji and L & T as suspected kickbacks through some bogus firms, allegedly in lieu of award of works for the capital city development in Amaravati etc. The Telugu Desam leaders including Naidu have been maintaining a stoic silence ever since the issue of I-T notice came to light.

Earlier, Telugu Desam had made a hue and cry when Volkswagen’s former director duped AP in 2005. The then industries minister Botsa Satyanarayana deposed before the CBI court in Hyderabad that the former director of Germany based Volkswagen company, Helmuth Schuster, duped AP with an assurance to set up a car manufacturing unit in Visakhapatnam. Subsequently it was realised that Schuster and Volkwagen’s India representative Ashok Jain made AP to deposit Rs 11 crore in VW account “fraudulently” though the VW stood for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the setting up of the plant named Vasishta Wahan and siphoned off the money.

Recently, however, in another revelation, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that Naidu was the main accused in the AP skill development scam involving Siemens in which Rs 371 crore of public money was "siphoned off by him and his supporters."

Jagan Mohan Reddy made the statement in the assembly and added that Siemens carried out an internal inquiry and clarified that it had no connection with the scam.

He faulted Naidu for getting a private note of approval in a Cabinet meet and having issued a GO in violation of all norms to help unauthorised persons get Rs 371 crore. He said that 10 per cent of the project cost went to the shell companies abroad and this was rerouted to Naidu through money laundering method.

Though there is a demand from the YSRC to Naidu to clarify on I-T notice, the Telugu Desam and Naidu are neither ready to speak on the IT notice nor challenge it in a court of law.

However, Telugu Desam sources maintain that neither the I-T department nor the Enforcement Directorate had come up with further action on the notice so far and that “a reply would be given by Naidu soon.”

The TD leaders ask the YSRC government as to why it failed to prove the allegations of irregularities in the Amaravati land scam though it constituted a special investigation team and roped in the AP CID to do the investigation since 2019.

A senior TD leader said, “With elections round the corner, our party is getting good support from the people. The ruling YSRC is looking for some issue to corner us. But the people know who is clean and who is corrupt. Let the people decide whom to support in the upcoming polls.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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