Days after Andhra Pradesh's YSRCP government took possession of Praja Vedika, located adjacent to Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu's residence in Amaravati, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy announced that the structure was illegal and would be demolished.
Since Naidu shifted his base to Amravati in 2016, he has been staying at a house in Undavalli on the banks of river Krishna. The 'Praja Vedika' (people's grievance cell) was built by the government through the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) as an extension to the then Chief Minister's residence, and was being used by Naidu for official purposes as well as to hold party meetings.
After taking over the building on Saturday, Jagan had announced that a two-day Collectors Conference would be held there. The conference, the first since the YSCRP came to power, was earlier scheduled to be held at the state Secretariat.
It was at this very conference on Monday that Jagan announced that it would be the last official meeting in the building, following which the structure would be demolished.
Media reports suggest that the demolition may begin on June 26.
Earlier this month, Naidu wrote to the Chief Minister, allowing him to use the structure to hold meetings. He urged the government to declare the property as residence annexe of the Leader of Opposition. However, the YSRCP seems to have rejected the proposal.
During the takeover of the Praja Vedika on Saturday, the TDP termed this as â€śvendetta politicsâ€ť and the party alleged that the government showed no courtesy to the former CM and that his belongings were thrown out of the building.
Senior TDP leader and former minister Y Ramakrishnudu had termed the government's action in taking possession of Praka Vedika as witch-hunting. "The government has deliberately resorted to this action. If it did not want to give Praja Vedika, it could have communicated the same in writing," he said.
The TDP is yet to react on the latest development but TNM has learnt that party leaders are discussing the issue and will issue statements soon.
Activists have alleged that along with the Praja Vedika, several buildings that have come up along the banks of the river Krishna in Undavalli village are all illegal constructions under the River Conservation Act. Under the Act, no construction activity should take place within 500 meters of the river.