Assembly committee triggers storm in AP

The constitution of an Assembly committee to probe the alleged irregularities in land allotments for private industries has triggered a political storm in Andhra Pradesh.

Questions are being raised over the timing of the decision and scope of the probe.
In some quarters, it is seen as a politically-motivated move to dig the past, unearth the questionable land deals, and project the former Chief Minister late YS Rajasekhar Reddy in a “poor light”. “How do you explain the government’s decision to examine the land allotments made during the period 2004-2009 when my husband was the chief minister?”asked YSR’s widow YS Vijayamma.

The YSR Congress Party, floated by his son and MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, demanded that the terms of the reference of the 15-member House Committee be broadened to include the land alienation decisions taken by the previous Telugu Desam Party government as well.

In a letter to the Assembly Speaker N Manohar, Vijayamma, who is also honorary president of YSR Congress Party, alleged that the committee had been constituted with the sole aim of maligning her husband as part of a strategy to “erase his political legacy”.

“If the probe has to be meaningful, it should cover the lands allotted to various companies by the previous TDP government between 1994 and 2004 and also during the last two years of Congress rule. I have every reason to believe that this probe is aimed at tarnishing the image of my late husband in a desperate attempt to wean away the supporters of YSR Congress party,” Vijayamma said. Interestingly, Jagan and his followers alleged a nexus between the ruling Congress and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party in this regard. “They have joined hands to tarnish the image of my father and to block my political career,” Jagan said.

By limiting the scope of the probe to cover YSR’s tenure, the government has exposed itself to the charge that its decision was biased. “There is a deep-rooted conspiracy to erase YSR’s image from public memory. All this is happening with directions from Delhi (Congress high command),” Jagan alleged.

“The TDP had stalled the Assembly proceedings demanding a House Committee. Then, the chief minister readily accepts it without any debate. If this is not a match-fixing, what else it is? They want to spread misinformation and harass me,” the Kadapa MP said.

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