In the days of yore Kings and Emperors rewarded their cronies with gifts of wealth and land from their treasuries and huge land holdings. Though the modern rulers are mere custodians of public wealth, cronyism and nepotism continued to thrive in the rule of Telugu Desam leader N Chandrababu Naidu. He gifted people close to him the knowledge that would make them rich overnight.
An inquiry by a cabinet sub-committee has found close associates of the former Chief Minister, by virtue of information made available to them, were able to purchase land at very low rates in Amaravati, the world class capital proposed by Mr Naidu.
Mr Naidu himself purchased 14.22 acres in Kanteru village of Tadikonda Mandal in the name of Heritage Foods, a firm owned by his family.
Dr Vemuri Ravi Kumar Prasad, a non Resident Indian and close associate of Nara Lokesh, purchased 25.68 acres in his own name, the name of his company Seven Hills Logistics Pvt Limited, and in his wife’s name Vemuri Lakshmi. GVS Anjeneyulu, Former MLA Vinukonda purchased 37.84 acres, in the names of hisdaughter Gonuguntla Lakshmi Sowjanya and his father Gonuguntla Satyanarayana.
Real estate tycoon Lingamaneni Ramesh purchased in the name of his company Director Y. Subba Rao other associates, nearly 80 acres. Paritala Sunitha (Former Minister), Payyavula Keshav, PAC chairman and MLA Uravakonda, important leaders of TDP Dhulipalla Narendra, Kambhampati Ramamohan Rao,
Putta Mahesh Yadav (son of Sri Putta Sudhakar Yadav Ex Chairman TTD) have all purchased lands in the capital area.
In the name of friends
Many more friends that were privy to the valuable information purchased lands in the names of their relatives, employees or associates.
Lingamaneni Ramesh, purchased large parcels of land in the name of his wife Mrs L.Sumana, his other relatives, Ms. L.Prasanthi, W/o Rajasekhar, Ms. L.Swarnakumari W/o Purna Bhaskararao, Sri L.V.Ramesh and Sri LVS Rajasekhar.
Similarly, Palle Raghaunadha Reddy, Nara Lokesh, Ravela Kishore Babu, Ponguru Narayana, Prattipati Pulla Rao, all former Ministers, Kommalapati Sridhar (Ex.MLA), Kodela Siva Prasad (Former Speaker, AP Legislative Assembly), Payyavula Kesavulu (MLA, Uravakonda), M.Murali Mohan (Ex. MP), G.V. Anjaneyulu (Ex MLA) purchased lands in the names of relatives and in some cases their employees.
The Chandrababu Naidu government generously gifting land which it took from farmers under the guise of ‘construction’ of the capital city, to multinationals and other corporate entities for very cheap. Claiming to bring reputed educational institutions to the area, land was actually giving away to crony firms at a rate much lower than the fixed price of Rs. 4 crore.
Cronies get the best of everything
Chandrababu Naidu allotted 1,300 acres to 75 firms out of which 8 firms were given 927 acres at the price of Rs. 50 lakh an acre.
The price of an acre of land in the area was fixed at Rs. 4 crore during the land allocation to Start-up Area Projects. Going by this price, the government should get Rs. 3,708 crore for the 927 acres of land, but it only got Rs. 463 crore as a lot of the land was given away for mere Rs. 50 lakh an acre.
The beneficiaries of the 927 acres included BRS Medicity Healthcare and
Research Private Limited, Indo-UK Institute of Health, SRM, VIT, Amrutha University, Basavatarakam Cancer Hospital, Xavier School of Management, Hyderabad Eye Institute, among others. They were given a 99 year lease period each.
Besides allotting lands at lower prices the government planned and began work on providing roads and other infrastructure at very low rates. All this gave credence to allegations that Mr Naidu was taking kickbacks from the corporate firms that were benefiting.
Companies too, came forward to buy hundreds of acres considering the low price and the fact that everything was being provided by the government