National

Praja Vedika demolished, call for Chandrababu to vacate official home

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on June 26, 2019 Published on June 26, 2019

Workers carry out demolition of Praja Vedika, a convention hall built by the Telugu Desam Party government in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh   -  -

The former CM terms the move political, vengeful

If the Telugu Desam Party was hit by a crisis with four of its six Rajya Sabha MPs defecting to the BJP, its leader N Chandrababu Naidu found the annexe to his official residence Praja Vedika demolished by the new Jagan Mohan Reddy government, on grounds of it being ‘illegal’.

All this happened within a week of Naidu’s family trip to Europe.

As the former CM of Andhra Pradesh returned to Vijayawada on Tuesday night, he had to face the simmering discontent and looming defections in his party and be a mute witness to the razing of a part of his residence. Praja Vedika or ‘people’s forum’, was the annexe of the official residence — a guest house owned by the industrialist Lingamaneni (who ran Air Costa) and was situated on the banks of the river Krishna in the upcoming capital city of Amaravati.

It was used by Naidu to hold meetings in the later part of his tenure, having moved from Hyderabad completely from early 2017.

At the maiden ‘collectors’ meet’ held at the Annexe on Monday, the new CM said the structure should be razed as it was built illegally. He declared that all buildings without permissions should not be spared.

‘Political, vengeful move’

The TDP leadership was huddled in a meeting with the former CM terming the move “political and vengeful”.

On Tuesday, Jagan also announced the constitution of a Committee to examine all constructions taken up by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), which was constituted to develop Amaravati.

Minister for municipal administration, Botsa Satyanarayana, exerted pressure on Naidu, saying “It is on Naidu to take a decision on vacating his official residence. He is a seasoned politician and knows the best. There was no vengeance in the CM’s decision as the structure was was illegal”, he said. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, too, said Naidu should vacate the official residence in the face of the government findings.

Corruption charges

In the background of a bitter election campaign in which Jagan and Naidu traded serious charges of corruption — on personal and government level — Jagan, immediately after assuming charge, reviewed all major projects such as the Capital City, Polavaram, and contracts awarded by the Naidu government, to investigate and take action. This in a way would put sustained focus on the alleged ‘irregularities, scams’ during Naidu’s governance.

Pawan Kalyan reacts

Reacting to the developments, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan said, “The Jagan Mohan Reddy government should take action on illegal constructions, whether owned by the powerful or commonman, to prove its intent that bringing down the former CM’s residential annexe was not a case of vendetta.”

Meanwhile, the popular notion remained that the TDP chief should vacate his residence to move to a new one.

Published on June 26, 2019
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