Political Pickle

A House for Mr Naidu

On Wednesday, YS Jaganmohan Reddy received a letter from Chandrababu Naidu. It contained a request to let him use the Praja Vedika, the residence annexe attached to Naidu’s home in Vundavalli on the banks of the River Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. 

Chandrababu Naidu and wife Bhuvaneshwari at their residence

Naidu’s contention was that this space located beside his residence was used as a facility by him during his term as chief minister to conduct meetings and meet visitors because of lack of open space at his home. Now Naidu wants Jagan to issue instructions to let him use the space as the Leader of the Opposition. Basically he wants the government to continue paying the rent for both the house and the Praja Vedika like it was all these years.

However, there is a catch in this. YSR Congress when it was in the opposition had alleged that the residence, which was taken on rent from industrialist Lingamaneni Ramesh, was an unauthorised construction.

If Jagan allows Naidu to use both facilities, it would mean the allegations made by his party all these years had no substance. On the other hand, if the CM turns down his predecessor’s request, he would be accused of vindictive behaviour. 

It won’t be easy for Jagan to take the call as one of the YSRCP MLAs, Ramakrishna Reddy who defeated Nara Lokesh in Mangalagiri soon after the elections, warned of waging a legal battle against unauthorised constructions that have mushroomed along the Krishna riverbed. Reddy’s contention is that these structures have come in violation of rules of Revenue, Town Planning and River Conservancy Act. Reddy had also filed a PIL on the matter in the High court.

Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan too had alleged that Naidu’s residence was constructed in violation of environmental norms. Jagan had also claimed that illegal sand mining takes place very close to where Naidu lives.

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