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YSRCP’s central office demolition: Facts and Fiction

The TDP government led by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, soon after assuming power, has started cracking the whip on “illegal” occupations of government land and constructions carried out in the past regime.

Ironically, the YSR Congress Party’s under-construction central office in Tadepalli of Guntur district was among the first ones to be demolished by the municipal authorities in the early hours of Saturday, over alleged illegal construction.

The action prompted angry reactions from former Chief Minister and YSRCP President Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who accused the Naidu dispensation of a “political vendetta” and called the bulldozer-led demolition act “dictatorial”.

Also Read: Chandrababu Naidu returns to Assembly as CM two-and-half years after ‘humiliation’

It has come to light, amid a series of allegations, that the land was allocated to the party by grossly ignoring the objections raised by then Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation), C. Narayana Reddy, the documentary evidence of which is available in the public domain.

On January 31, 2023, the Superintending Engineer (Irrigation Circle), Vijayawada had written to the then Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation) requesting to furnish a detailed report along with consent for leasing the land in Tadepalli Mandal for construction of the party office in Guntur district, based on the representation of Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, Member of Legislative Council and the then District President, YSRCP, Guntur District.

The Engineer-in-Chief, in a reply dated February 2, 2023, refused to give consent for the construction of YSRCP’s office on the following grounds: 1. Water bodies/ tanks/ FTL areas need to be protected as per Supreme Court orders;

2. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has already seized off such issues relating to irrigation lands in adjacent mandal; 3. The proposed land is adjacent to the Krishna Western Main Canal (KW Canal) and within 100m from the bund of the canal;

4. The Water Resources Department has plans to establish the Andhra Pradesh Water Land Management Training Institute (WALAMTI) along with Andhra Pradesh Engineering Research Laboratories (APERL) in the said land.

In concluding remarks, the Engineer-in-Chief said: “In view of the above circumstances, it may not be possible to allot the above Boat Yard land for construction of the YSR Congress Party office in Guntur District.”

The YSRCP overrode objections and went on to build the party office, grossly ignoring all norms and established procedures. The documents are in the public domain and this raises serious question marks over flagrant violations under Jagan regime.

Despite the Engineer-in-Chief’s objections, Sai Prasad, the then Special Chief Secretary & Chief Commission of Land Administration, issued an order on February 16, 2023, allocating the government land for the construction of the YSRCP office.

Notably, during the previous TDP-led government, a different land in the heart of the Guntur City in Koritepadu was allocated for the construction of the YSRCP’s Guntur district party office on July 21, 2016.

It is clear that the YSRCP-led government circumvented the objections and passed orders to allocate the land for the YSRCP Guntur District Party office, despite the objections raised by C. Narayana Reddy, Engineer-in-Chief, Water Resources Department (Irrigation).

Expectedly, the Guntur District wing of the YSRCP approached the High Court, which disposed of the petition asking the party to follow the due procedure.

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