Authorities in Andhra Pradesh began demolition of a building adjacent to former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu's rented residence on the banks of the Krishna river in Amaravati on Tuesday night amidst high drama. The main house, just 2 kms from the Prakasam barrage, was constructed by the Lingamaneni group, a construction firm close to Naidu. The annexe building or Praja Vedika was built later for Naidu to hold meetings and press conferences.
Hours after Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's first-ever meeting with district collectors and superintendents of police concluded at 'Praja Vedika', where he called it an illegal building built by his predecessor Naidu, workers began demolition of the same structure.
Dozens of workers moved out furniture, air conditioners and other items before launching the demolition with JCB machines. A large number of policemen were deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
Officials of Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) plan to complete the demolition by Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Naidu returned to Vijayawada from a foreign trip on Tuesday night. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief was holidaying with his family in Europe.
Praja Vedika (people's grievance cell) was built by the then TDP government as an extension to then Chief Minister Naidu's residence in 2017. Built at a cost of Rs 5 crore, it was being used by Naidu for official purposes as well as to hold party meetings.
As TDP lost power to YSRCP last month, Leader of Opposition Naidu on June 4 wrote to the Chief Minister to allow him to use the building to hold the meetings.
In a dramatic development, the YSRCP government took possession of the building on Saturday and decided to hold two-day meeting of district collectors and SPs at the same venue.
Jagan Reddy on Monday said that since the building was built in violation of all laws and rules, his government will demolish it on Wednesday. He reiterated this on Tuesday and alleged that even the house where Naidu is living is illegal.
The Chief Minister said all the construction which has come up on the banks of the river in violation of various legislation and rules would be demolished.
Reacting sharply to Jagan Reddy's decision, the TDP has called it vendetta politics.
Claiming that the building was constructed by the previous government as per rules and regulations, the opposition party alleged that Reddy ordered its demolition so that Naidu does not get it.