Cong accuses Venkaiah Naidu of grabbing land meant for the poor

Cong accuses Venkaiah Naidu of grabbing land meant for the poor

Cong accuses Venkaiah Naidu of grabbing land meant for the poor
The electoral battle for Vice President's post took an acrimonious turn on Monday as Congress accused NDA nominee M Venkaiah Naidu of grabbing land meant for poor and favouring his children.

Naidu, on his part, described the allegations as "entirely false" and said it was evident that these issues have been referred to a few days before the Vice Presidential elections "clearly reflecting on the political motives and the mischievous intentions".

Releasing four questions to Naidu, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said those holding the highest public offices "must fully disclose" their interests as also "special treatment in shape of State largesse for themselves as well as kin and kith".

In a statement released by the Congress, Ramesh accused Naidu was accused of grabbing 4.95 acre of land in Andhra Pradesh reserved for the poor. "Is it not a fact that on August 17, 2002, Naidu was forced to return this 4.05 acres of land after public embarrassment and accusations of wrong doing?" according to the statement.

Another allegation was that Naidu's son, who is into automobile business, was favoured by the Telangana government in a Rs 271 crore contract to sell vehicles to police along with state Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao's son."Is it not a fact that such an order was placed in contravention of all rules and without even floating tenders?" he said.

The Swarna Bharat Trust run by Naidu's daughter was also on the firing line as Congress accused him of getting charges of over Rs two crore waived off by Telangana government. "Is it not a fact that such an exemption has no precedent and it has been done because his daughter is the Managing Trustee of this organisation?"

In the statement, Ramesh also raised the quashing of allotment of 20 acres to Kushabhau Thakre Memorial Trust in Madhya Pradesh. The land was allotted in 2004 by the state government. "Is it not a fact that Supreme Court quashed this allotment on6 April 2011 in a PIL and passed stringent strictures of political favouritism and cancelled the allotment?" he said.

Reacting to the allegations that were "responded to in the past", Naidu said, "this is a clear evidence of the sense of hopelessness and political bankruptcy of the Congress. I am a product of a political party and culture that always placed the highest premium on probity in public life and always lived by those standards."

On his daughter's Trust, he said Telangana government itself had responded noting that it was not the first and the last to be given such exemption. He said his son's Harsha Toyota, as a dealer, never directly dealt with the state government but it was Toyota, which offered to supply vehicles.

He also said he was ex-officio chairman of the Trust in Madhya Pradesh and had no role in land allotment. He said the charges of land grab were dismissed by courts.
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