It's been less than a month since Jaganmohan Reddy took over as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. But he seems to be too vindictive as his government has gone on filing cases.
Hyderabad: The happenings in Andhra Pradesh are fast resembling the stuff from many potboilers that Tollywood churns out regularly.
The newly elected chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy, who found himself in prison for 16 months between 2012 and 2013 on charges of accumulating wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, today seems to be on a self-anointed mission to ferret out corruption and graft in deals inked by the previous TDP regime.
And what’s more, Jaganmohan also seems to have made TDP honcho and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu as a marked person, as the new government in the state has set on an aggressive path targeting him almost personally.
Days after coming down on Praja Vedika, the conference and meeting premises of Chandrababu Naidu at Amaravathi, Jagan's government kept up the pressure by serving an eviction notice on the owners of the building which Chandrababu Naidu has made his base in the last five years.
The building, it is said, belongs to industrialist Ramesh Lingamaneni. Naidu has been operating out of this building which is situated on the banks of the Krishna River.
Apparently, the building, juxtaposing the Praja Vedika, has been constructed contravening the rules of no structure within 100 metres of the riverbed, and the notice was today served by the officials of AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
Notice was served when Naidu was inside the building, and this added to the dramatic intensity of the occasion. The notice is for vacating the place in a week's time, after which the government said it would go ahead with the demolition.
To be sure, plenty of legal ‘to and fro’ can be expected after today's development. Naidu, who is reportedly moving to another property on the outskirts of Vijayawada, would still not let go this unchallenged legally.
However, it is also clear that Jaganmohan has drawn the battle lines.
Only this week, Jagan appointed a cabinet sub-committee that will probe if any corruption took place during the Naidu-led TDP regime.
Jagan has in particular targeted power purchase deals. He has already alleged graft in the solar power and wind power purchases.
Jagan has frontally said that because of corrupt deals by the previous regime, the Andhra government had suffered a loss of Rs 2,636 crore. The chief minister has also ordered the recovery of the money from the companies or persons responsible for it.
More specifically, Jagan has recommended legal action against Naidu, and other former ministers for the losses.
In a sense, every one kind of knew that given the animosity between the two, Jagan would go against Naidu. But nobody was prepared for this kind of vehemence and speed.
It is less than a month since he took over, and already the cases and notices are being filed. This aggression, says RSK Rao, a political science professor in Vijayawada, "If there is a scandal it has to be investigated. Nobody is against it. But Jagan seems to be going headlong and there is more than a hint of personal vendetta in his approach."
It is a charge that the TDP leader also levels at Jagan. Former finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu has termed it a witch-hunt, "as the buildings came up during the regime of Jagan’s father YS Rajasekhar Reddy, who gave all permissions for construction."
However, YSRCP leaders feel that the TDP reaction is predictable and lame. “We have proof to establish that the construction is illegal and which is why it will be demolished. And this will be a drive. All the illegal structures in the state will be demolished soon,” YSRCP senior leader and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board chairman YV Subba Reddy was quoted as saying in the local media.
While the exchanges between the leaders are on expected lines, the general public feel that Jaganmohan needs to temper his approach. "The chief minister has to show more maturity. If his first targets are his political rivals, then what happens to governance and development? He has to deliver that because he was voted into power for that," says Hemalatha Reddy, a bank employee. "This unseemly haste in filing corruption cases doesn't reflect a leader's mind who is at peace with himself."
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Last Updated 2, Jul 2019, 6:21 PM