Visakhapatnam North MLA Vishnu Kumar Raju demands that AP CM Chandrababu Naidu look into the matter.

Politicians involved in Vizag land scam says BJP MLA creating ripples in TDP allianceImage: Facebook/Vishnu Kumar Raju
news Politics Sunday, June 18, 2017 - 15:45

Visakhapatnam North MLA and BJP Floor Leader in the Legislative Assembly, P Vishnu Kumar Raju’s remarks over the ongoing land scam in the city, are creating political ripples in the affairs of TDP and BJP.

The two parties are allies in the state, and TDP is also part of the NDA coalition at the Centre, but the recent scam, allegedly involving some TDP leaders, seems to be creating a political rift in Andhra Pradesh.

The scam deals with several allegations of tampering records and encroachments, and more than 168 complaints from 26 mandals, involving several acres of land, that were submitted to the authorities.

The scam is reported to involve more than 1,000 acres of land in Madhurawada and Kommadi areas of Visakhapatnam, and Raju has been one of its most vocal critics, ever since it came to light.

Speaking to TNM from Visakhapatnam, Raju says that politicians had to be potentially involved in the tampering of revenue records.

“Without the influence of politicians, such massive irregularities would not happen,” he remarks.

He also demands that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu look into the matter, and ensure that culprits at all levels are exposed.

“My concern is about innocent farmers, and their lands are being given to Vishakapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) without their consent. They were forced to sign on papers” he alleges.

When asked if his statements would affect the alliance, he says, “The Chief Minister himself, is aspiring for a scam-free and corruption-free state. I’m trying to convey the same thing and it has nothing to do with the political affairs of both parties.”

He also claims that his own family was not spared from land grabbers, but he still “did not have any personal interests”, to pursue the case.

“It’s been happening since 2013, and though I warned the government earlier, my warnings have gone in vain, and it has resulted in grabbing of more than 1,400 acres of assigned land,” he adds.

While the scam has given ample fodder to Opposition parties like the YSRCP, it has also exposed a rift within the TDP’s state cabinet.

A public spat between Andhra ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Ayyanna Patrudu came out in the open last week, after a letter that the former wrote to Naidu surfaced.

In his letter, Ganta had demanded a thorough probe by the CID or the CBI into the scam, to prove the 'facts'.

This came after Patrudu had hinted Ganta's involvement in the scam, telling media persons that it was politicians "who had migrated to Vizag, that were indulging in land scams."

Meanwhile, as far as the alliance between the TDP and the BJP is concerned, some felt that such blatant remarks publicly against an ally, were not preferable.  

Reacting to Raju’s statements, Vijay Kumar Neelayampally, Official Spokesperson of the TDP, told TNM, “Raju’s concerns are welcome, but since he is part of the government he has every choice to convey his concerns to CM.”

He also said that there was a “fair chance of people getting carried away by such unsubstantial allegations, which may definitely affect the affairs between both parties”.

On June 11, the state formed an SIT consisting of Police, Revenue and Law Department officials, to look into the scam.

“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe the issue, and there won’t be any exceptions, even if they are prime faces from cabinet. They have to face the law and disciplinary party action like Deepak Reddy,” Kumar says.

Deepak Reddy, a TDP MLC, was suspended from the party this week, for his alleged role in a land scam that surfaced in Hyderabad’s Miyapur area.

Elaborating on the SIT probe, Kumar said, “There are irregularities in VUDA since 15 years, and we are expecting the investigation to uncover everything, unlike wild statements.”

 

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