In an interview to TNM, Nara Lokesh said that he will buy land in Amaravati only after farmers’ land is returned.

Nara Lokesh standing at a podium with his left hand outstretched while addressing a gathering
news Politics Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 19:54

The Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh faced a huge embarrassment this week when the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed FIRs in one of the most politically controversial cases. The government had alleged that former CM Chandrababu Naidu and his family and friends had purchased land during June-December 2014, after information was allegedly leaked to them about Amaravati being the chosen region for the capital of the state. The Andhra Pradesh High Court, in its verdict, has held that the land was sold willingly and that there was no criminality or insider trading.

Reacting to the judgement, TDP National General Secretary Nara Lokesh told TNM that the verdict is very clear that insider trading never happened. He added that this is the same as what he has been saying since the beginning, and that the hue and cry all this while has been for nothing.

Speaking to TNM, Lokesh, who is Chandrababu Naidu's son said, “The court has said exactly what we have been saying. It shows that there is a mala fide intention behind the complaint. The judge has also made this very clear that there is no locus standi. The people who have purchased lands did not purchase lands in the core area, especially Rajesh Kilaru who they tried to portray as my benami. His land is 32 kms away from the core capital region and doesn’t even come under CRDA. Yet they have gone ahead, raided his house and created a hue and cry for nothing. The court judgment has clearly said that insider trading did not happen and that there is no criminal wrongdoing.”

Lokesh went on to say that none of the allegations made by Jagan Mohan Reddy against him have been proved so far. He said, “I have challenged the government to prove allegations made against us during Jagan’s padayatra. It has been 21 months since Jagan came to power, but not even one allegation has been proved. Be it the fibre grid allegation or the land allocation, they have made allegations but nothing has been proved.”

Lokesh pointed out that he decided not to buy land in Amaravati, as he was wary about such allegations. “I have asked them to prove where I have bought even one cent of land.  Now they say I don’t have a house. This is the very reason I did not buy any land. The understanding we now have as a family is that we will buy land in Amaravati only after the land taken in land pooling is given back to the farmers in the lottery programme.”

When asked if he thinks the government will appeal to a higher court, Lokesh said, “If there is no wrong doing, whether it is single-judge bench, multiple-judge bench or even the Chief Justice of India, the judgment will be the same. This verdict is a hit for the government. They claimed insider trading is the main reason for shifting Amaravati and now that has fallen flat.”  

The Andhra Pradesh government had filed a case alleging that former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, his family members and some others closely associated with the TDP has carried out insider trading. The complaint filed by the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government had also named family members of a sitting Supreme Court judge, a former Advocate General of the state and others.

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