Having charged the senior leadership of the Telugu Desam with insider trading in Project Amaravati, the YSR Congress government has moved into second gear. It has trained its guns at YS Chowdary, former Union minister of state in the NDA government and close aide of Chandrababu Naidu, who has now moved to greener (read saffron) pastures in the BJP.
On Wednesday, the Jaganmohan Reddy family-owned Sakshi newspaper published details of land parcels allegedly bought by Chowdary’s family members on the periphery of the Amaravati capital zone. The publication has accused Chowdary of buying 623.12 acres of land abutting the capital zone.
The allegation is that Chandrababu Naidu leaked information on the exact location of the capital zone to his close aides upon which many TDP leaders, including Chowdary, purchased land at low cost from farmers in and around Amaravati. The YSRCP accuses Naidu of formally announcing the name on 4 September 2014, only after all the lands had been registered in the name of TDP leaders, their relatives or other benamis.
According to Sakshi, in Krishna district’s Chandarlapadu Mandal’s Gudimetla village, 110.6 acres of land was purchased by Chowdary at Rs 5 lakh per acre before the announcement of Amaravati as the capital city. The land was bought by Jathin Kumar, Chowdary’s brother’s son who also heads one of the Rajya Sabha MP’s companies.
The report goes into specifics of the different land deals. It cites survey numbers of several land parcels registered in the name of Shiva Satya Pigments Private Limited, one among the 120 companies established by YS Chowdary in Gudimetla. The cost of the same land increased to Rs 50 lakh per acre. The paper concludes that Chowdary made Rs 50 crore profit on this one land deal alone.
But Chowdary has maintained his ownership of the lands had nothing to do with Amaravati and are not part of the capital zone.
“I also own land in Kodad (the last town in Telangana before crossing the border to step into Andhra Pradesh). Why doesn’t the government mention that as well?” Chowdary ridiculed the government’s attempt to corner him, during a TV show.
While charges are flying thick and fast, not all of them are sticking. Municipal Administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana had accused (Naidu’s brother-in-law and NTR’s son) Balakrishna’s son-in-law Sri Bharath’s family of having gained as well. He said Bharath’s father was allotted 493 acres of land at Rs 1 lakh per acre in Jaggayapeta. But Bharath produced documents to establish that the land was in fact approved by the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in united Andhra Pradesh in 2012 to establish a fertilizer plant. Ironically Satyanarayana was then a minister in the Congress government and Bharath was not married to the NTR-Balakrishna family then.