The Sadavarthi endowments land auction controversy took a new turn on Monday, with the Hyderabad High Court asking YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy to come forward to pay Rs 5 crore, over and above the Rs 22 crore sum paid by the final auction winner in the case.
Reddy had moved the court, alleging that the auction was a 'fraud', and the land that was auctioned by the AP Endowments Department to a Telugu philanthropist, was actually worth Rs 1,200 crore.
The issue had first come up in 2016, with opposition leaders claiming that orders from the CMO to auction 83 acres at Rs 22 lakh per acre, was much lower than the government rate of Rs 50 lakh.
It was also pointed out that a large part of the land, was already encroached upon, with opposition leaders alleging that it was part of a pre-planned conspiracy.
The Andhra government has constantly denied the opposition's claims.
In fact, Andhra's advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas had earlier thrown a challenge to the petitioner, claiming that the state was ready to transfer the land in question, to his name, if he could pay more than the final auction winner.
Addressing the court on Monday, Reddy's counsel submitted that they had managed to find buyers, who were prepared to pay Rs 5 crore more for the land.
Accepting the claim, the court warned Reddy that a fine of Rs 1 crore would be imposed on him, if he failed to pay up, and adjourned the case to two weeks.
The court's decision has been welcomed by the state's top leaders, including Endowments Minister P Manikyala Rao, and IT Minister Nara Lokesh.
IT Minister Nara Lokesh told media persons, that he wanted YSRCP leaders to follow the HC's directions and take the land by paying the money in the specified time.
YSRCP should refrain from citing excuses and delaying the process, he added.