Vijayawada: The startling revelation by the Income-Tax department about the siphoning of monies to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore in a case involving the former personal secretary of Telugu Desam supremo N. Chandrabau Naidu has led to an intense, and bitter, war of words between leaders of the YSR Congress and the principal Opposition, Telugu Desam.
The ruling party pressed into service seven ministers and 10 legislators, besides two MPs, with a sole agenda of attacking Naidu and Nara Lokesh, his son and TD party general secretary.
The YSRC “questioned the silence” of Mr Naidu on the raids and wondered “how much more corrupt money would be unearthed” if preliminary estimates itself revealed fraud of Rs 2,000 crore.
YSRC favours raids on Naidu
YSRC ministers suggested raids on Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu’s house to get unearth the scandal related to his former personal secretary’s wealth.
“Raids on Chandrababu Naidu’s houses would bring out more skeletons,” said K. Kannababu, agriculture minister, who demanded an immediate inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate into the assets of the TD chief.
Leading the counterattack, Mr Lokesh sought to turn the tables against Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who said, “Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy former said sees corruption in everyone else, because he himself is highly corrupt.”
In a tweet, Mr Loksh sought to clarify that the press release from the Income Tax department talked only about irregularities by infrastructure companies, whereas the ruling YSRC party was “indulging in false propaganda” by linking the raids to his party.
“It is but natural that a person who spent 16 months in jail wishes everyone else to undergo imprisonment but we don’t invite such a situation,” Mr Lokesh said.
The TD also sought to distance itself from Mr Naidu’s former aide Srinivas, with party senior leaders claiming that neither Mr Naidu nor his son have anything to do with Srinivas’s actions.
“On the contrary, we have already exposed Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s corruption and are ready to prove that he, and his aides, bought 39,935 acres of land in and around Visakhapatnam district,” alleged P Anuradha, TD official spokesperson.
YSR Congress leaders alleged that the father-son duo had amassed wealth through corrupt means in the execution of Polavaram, Pattiseema and other projects. Terming Pawan Kalyan as a “TD partner”, they questioned the silence of the Jana Sena chief on the I-T raids.
“The exposure in the I-T raids are the tip of the iceberg. It is high time Mr Naidu makes an announcement on raids conducted on his former PS and infra companies owned by the Kadapa district TD president,” Botsa Satyanarayana, municipal minister, said.
Ministers Balineni Srinivas Reddy, Avanti Srinivas, S B Amjad Bhasha, deputy chief minister, Ch Sriranganatha Raju and D Krishna Das addressed press conferences in different places and demanded immediate action against Mr Naidu.
“The fomer CM did not allow the CBI into the state fearing exposure of corrupt practices,” Vellampalli Srinivas, endowments minister, said.
The TD too organised media interactions with several senior leaders, including former minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, MLAs Nimmala Rama Naidu, K Achennaidu and DB Veeranjaneya Swamy and others....