TDP Under Fire for Accepting Funds from Shirdi Sai Electricals

HYDERABAD: After a sustained campaign against the alleged favours doled out to Kadapa-based Shirdi Sai Electricals Ltd (SSEL) by the YSRC government in Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam has accepted Rs 40 crore worth electoral bonds from the company.

According to data available with the Election Commission of India, the TD redeemed Rs 40 crore bonds on January 11 this year at one go.

Earlier, the party had levelled serious accusations that the company was a benami of Y.S. Avinash Reddy, Kadapa YSRC MP and close relative of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. TD senior leader Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy had filed a public interest litigation questioning the government’s decision to award the firm a contract to install smart electricity meters.

Interestingly, of the Rs 214 crore the TD earned through bonds, Shirdi Sai Electricals was the second highest contributor after Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited’s Rs 28 crore and its group company Western UP Power Transmission Company Limited’s Rs 20 crore.

Natco Pharma paid the TD Rs 14 crore through bonds and Bharat Biotech and Dr Reddy’s Rs 10 crore each. Rithwik Projects belonging to TD’s former MP C.M. Ramesh, who switched loyalties to the BJP, bought Rs 5 crore bonds and Future Gaming, the largest contributor to arch rival YSRC with RS 154 crore, paid the TD just Rs 1 crore.

The TD targeted SSEL since 2021 and held series of press conferences addressed by party spokesman Anam Venkata Ramana Reddy besides Chandramohan Reddy in which they alleged that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had paid 300 per cent excess to the company for purchase of transformers.

The party also alleged that the company had quoted Rs 36,000 per agri connection to fix meters and maintain them against Rs 7,945 in Rajasthan.

Another senior leader, K. Kala Venkata Rao, in June 2021 alleged a Rs 1.2 lakh-crore scam in a tender for solar power projects which went to SSEL. The TD in October 2023 demanded a CBI probe into the YSRC government’s decision to waive penalty of Rs 178 crore levied by the TD government on SSEL for supply of substandard transformers.
“As we are in the Opposition, we will not know the details of the donor. Only after the SBI disclosure did we realise that it was SSEL which donated Rs 40 crore to us. It was a ploy by Jagan to make SSEL donate bonds without us knowing it, and use the same against us,” Venkata Ramana Reddy told Deccan Chronicle. “We will continue to expose the misdeeds,” he said but did not commit on whether the party would return the amount to the company since it had now come to where the money came from.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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