Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP government on Monday, March 23, handed over the case relating to irregularities in the Amaravati land designation under the previous Telugu Desam Party regime to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Meanwhile, the state government has faced another setback as the high court stayed the government’s decision to allot land in Amaravati to poorer sections under a state scheme.
Since it came to power in May 2019, the YSRCP government has been accusing the previous TDP government of numerous irregularities relating to designating the land for the capital region in Amaravati, located in Vijayawada and Guntur districts of the state. The state government had earlier constituted a cabinet sub-committee to give recommendations on issues pertaining to the capital in Amaravati.
In a report submitted on December 27 last year, the sub-committee stated that it found “several irregularities and illegalities with respect to procedure followed by the erstwhile government in acquiring lands, offences committed by dispossessing landless poor of assigned lands by an elaborate conspiracy, forgery, fabrication of documents ,tampering of records.”
Submitting the committee report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the state government has now requested the CBI to probe the matter. Earlier the state government had also constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the allegations.
“Owing to the high-profile nature of the accused and the need to carry out a probe in the inter-state and international areas, it was felt that the case needs to be investigated by a national agency,” stated the state home ministry to DoPT.
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The erstwhile government had acquired over 34,000 acres of land from 29,000 farmers through land pooling system for the construction of Amaravati.
CM Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier stated that these irregularities have been one of the reasons for going for a three capital cities model for the state. In January, the state Assembly had passed the ‘Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill, 2020’, according to which the state will have three capitals -- Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the legal capital.
However, for the last three months, thousands of farmers who gave away their lands for the construction of the Amaravati as capital have been protesting against the three capital cities model.
Setbacks for Jagan Mohan Reddy
On Monday, a state high court bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheswari and Justices AV Sesha Sai and M Satyanarayana Murthy passed an interim order staying the government order allowing the utilisation of Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) land in Amaravati for land distribution scheme ‘Pedalandariki Illu’ translated as ‘housing for poorer sections’. As per an earlier order by the state government, around 1,250 acres of CRDA land was to be distributed to 54,307 beneficiaries under the scheme.
This comes at a time when the state government is already facing a series of setbacks with its movers concerning Amaravati. Last week, it has been reported that the state high court stayed another government order for shifting the office of the Vigilance Commissioner, Chairman of Commissionerate of Inquiries and Offices of the members of the Commissioner of Inquiries to Kurnool, the proposed legal capital.
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