Saturday, 23 July 2011 16:52
In 1978, when Chandrababu Naidu became MLA for the first time, he was owning just two-acre land in Naravaripalle village in his native Chittoor district. He did not own even a car and, infact, his first car, an Ambassdor was gifted by his father-in-law late chief minister NT Rama Rao. From here, till 2004 before he was ousted by the Congress in the hustings, Chandrababu earned thousands of crores through dubious means.
When Chandrababu entered politics his father, owner of two acre land, was ekingout his livelihood by farming. His mother used to support the family by selling milk and curd in the surrounding villages of Naravaripalle. His brother, Rammurthy Naidu, a former MLA, used to repair electric motors.
After his father-in-law NT Rama Rao became chief minister, Chandrababu had set up Bhuvaneswari Carbides in 1984-85, but that turned out to be a mis-adventure.
In 1988, Chandrababu’s annual income was Rs 36,000 and in a decade it went up to Rs 19.29 crore. Chandrababu, in a document submitted to Company Law Authorities claimed that he had no businesses. Then, how did he earn crores of rupees is a big question. In the affivadit submitted to Election Commission in 2009, Chandrababu declared that his wife and he together have assets worth Rs 51 crore.
There is nothing new in the “friendship” between politicians and corporate world. But, why did Chandrababu drag late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and his son YS Jaganmohan Reddy into the corporate war between two mining companies? Why is he spitting venom against the late chief minister’s son?
In 2004, people taught Chandrababu a lesson by showing him his place when he tried to describe Rajasekhara Reddy a factionist? In 2009, he talked about so-called corruption, but people did not believe him. With the untimely and unfortunate death of Rajasekhara Reddy, Chandrababu believed that the field is wide open to him. But, the unstinted support of masses to Jaganmohan Reddy is driving the TDP president crazy. Unable to digest this, Chandrababu and his media syndicate is now desperately trying to malign the image of Jaganmohan Reddy.
His nine-year rule as chief minister (1995 to 2004) was a saga of corruption. He never ordered CBI inquiry into any of the scams that surfaced during his regime as he was a direct beneficiary. His present friend and foe in 2004 elections, CPM in a conservative assessment estimated that the scams during TDP regime would worth Rs 12,367 crore. There could be another Rs 10,000 crore worth scams, which could not be exposed. He always relied on Gobellsian propaganda in promoting his image and to cover up his follies.
Here just a tip of his corruption ice berg.
LIQUOR SCAM: One of the major scams of Chandrababu Naidu was the liquor scam in which Rs 600 crore tax payers money was paid to three liquor manufacturing companies in excess between 1997 and 2000. State Vigilance and Enforcement Department gave a detailed report on how Babu regime bent the rules to favour the three companies and how others were denied sale in AP. (In fact The Hindu then wrote a front page piece on the scam too). An important file pertaining to the scam was literally consigned to flames by Chandrababu, who later went on to obtain a stay from the High Court on technical grounds so that he would not be examined.
YELERU SCAM: Unprecedented corruption took place in land acquisition and compensation to the displaced in Yeleru canal works. Role of a judge and several TDP leaders was alleged in the scam worth Rs 100 crore. Court even faulted four senior IAS officers, but Babu regime did not take any action against them. Justice Somasekhara Commission could not complete the inquiry as Babu and his men created several legal hurdles for it making it impossible for the commission to function.
MANGANESE MINES LEASE: Chandrababu government leased out 223.84 acre manganese mines in Vizianagaram district to SK Swaragi & Co in February 2001. Interestingly, the same mines were leased to AP Mineral Development Corporation in 1999 for a period of 10 years. To help Swaragi, the state government cancelled the lease agreement with APMDC. Obviously money changed hands in the deal.
LAND ALLOCATION TO IMG BHARATHA: This is the biggest of all scams. Though being a care-taker chief minister, Chandrababu allocated 400 acres land in the prime Gachibowli locality in Hyderabad at Rs 50,000 per acre as against the market value of over Rs 2 crore per acre. This land belonged to the University of Hyderabad. Chandrababu played a key role in chosing Billi Rao and Prabhakar Rao, in the scam and used them as a front to siphon away money.
L&T: L&T had been Chandrababu’s pet company. Within four days of swearing-in as chief minister on Sept 1, 1995, Chandrababu allotted 148 acre land in the upmarket Madhapur area to L&T. Within one year, he allocated another 18 acres and subsequently another 78 acres had been allocated to the company. The then joint collector submitted a report to the state government stating that about 100 acres land had been encroached upon by L&T. But, the report was swept under the carpet.
RAHEJA IT PARK: 100 acres land was allotted to Raheja IT Park for peanuts in the costly Madhapur area. About Rs 50 crore changed hands in the deal.
EMMAR PROPERTIES: Chandrababu allotted 700 acre land to EMMAR Properties at throw away price. Congress party leveled serious allegations of corruption in the deal and demanded a CBI probe. But, true to his style, he never agreed for a probe into the deal. Violating all conditions, EMMAR Properties divided the land into plots and sold them. Surprisingly, Chandrababu’s daughter-in-law also owns a plot in EMMAR Properties.
KAKINADA PORT: Chandrababu entered into a deal with the then Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammed. His son Farzan Ahmed floated Kokanada Sea Ports and here too L&T joined the consortium. Besides, some TDP leaders also joined the projects and it is no secret that they were Chandrababu benamis. The TDP regime allocated 168 acres at throw away price. In return, Mahathir Mohammed facilitated Chandrababu’s investments in hospitality industry in Malaysia.
HERITAGE FOODS: This is family concern set up near Chandragiri in his native Chittoor district. It would have been an ordinary business not drawing anyone’s attention, but for the fact that Chandrababu made amendments to the dairy policy in the state. The amendments were such that they suited Heritage Foods while badly hitting the cooperative dairy sector. The classic case is the prestigious Chittoor Dairy which was floored by Chandrababu to the benefit of his company.
While other dairies in the state increased milk procurement price due to shortfall in milk production, Chittoor dairy was forced to reduce the milk procurement price. As a result, farmers in Chittoor district sold milk to Heritage Foods for better price. In 1994-95, Chittoor dairy milk procurement has come come down to 76,000 litres per day from two lakh litres. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams too stopped buying ghee from Chittoor dairy resulting in a loss of revenue of Rs 1.3 crore per month. Milk supply to Chennai and Bangalore was also stopped and Chittoor dairy was bleeding to death.
Though National Dairy Development Board came forward to revive Chittoor dairy, Chandrababu government refused to chip in with 50 per cent contribution. That was the final nail in the coffin. Chittoor dairy was closed while Heritage was earning fat profits. The Dairy was revived only after Congress returned to power in 2004.
The other dimension to the Heritage Scam is floating of several benami companies by Chandrababu &Co. Obviously, these are unlisted companies and shares worth Rs 1.32 crore in the name of his wife Bhuvaneswari are in these companies. There is no way one can examine where-all these unlisted companies invested and their worth. At the same time, there is a need to expose the volume of unclaimed deposits in Margadarsi. There are allegations that Chandrababu has a major stake in the unclaimed deposits.
DUPING THE INVESTORS: Heritage Foods, a listed company had 3 acre land in Madhapur, which is worth Rs 100 crore. To grab the land, Chandrababu floated Heritage Infra, a subsidiary company. In this company, Chandrababu’s wife has 28 per cent stake while his benami Nagaraju Naidu has 21 per cent. Susequently, the Rs 100 crore worth land of Heritage Foods was transferred to Heritage Infra for a mere Rs 2.73 crore and thus duped the investors of their share. Once the operation was completed, Heritage Foods withdrew its 51 per cent stake from Heritage Infra and the same was bought over by Sri Chakra Merchandising Limited for Rs 35.69 crore. This is a benami company of Chandrababu’s frontman Sujana Chowdhry. That is how, Chandrababu transferred investors money into his pocket.
GMR AIRPORT: Chandrababu allocated 5,500 acre to GMR for the construction of airport at Shamshabad. Using his clout in the NDA government, Chandrababu extended various concessions to GMR. Besides, Chandrababu and his gang purchased huge tracts of land in the vicinity of airport and made profits. Initially, he conspired to have the airport near Ramoji Film City so that his “media guru” would be benefited, but central government turned down the proposal. He also unsuccessfuly tried to convince GMR to make L&T a stake holder in the airport.
KAKINADA SEZ: Kakinada SEZ is another major scam of Chandrababu. Much hype was created by TDP regime that ONGC would be part of the SEZ. After money changed hands, the location of Kakinada SEZ was changed to benefit the real estate lobby and also to the SEZ promoters. Role of TDP leaders was strongly suspected in the deals and obviously Chandrababu has benami holdings in the project.
ASSOCIATION WITH SATYAM: Scam tainted Satyam Computers had been Chandrababu’s blue-eyed company. The TDP president turned his back on Satyam soon after the scam surfaced. He even deleted from the NTR Trust website the details about Rs 1 crore donation given by Satyam benami companies. It is a fact that Chandrababu held a secret meeting with Ramalingaraju a few days before the tainted CEO of Satyam surrendered. Till date, Chandrababu is yet to come clean on the allegations that Satyam funded Rs 23 crore for his son’s education in Carngie Milan University.
GANGAVARAM PORT: Chandrababu allocated 1800 acre to New Wave Securities and Industrial Credits Limited consoritum for developing Gangavaram Port. There are allegations that scam tainted Satyam invested in New Wave. There is no secret about the friendship between Chandrababu and Ramalingaraju. The former chief minister himself should reveal how many crores changed hands in the deals.
INDIA CEMENTS: This is another company on whic Chandrababu showered his blessings. By extending tax concessions, Chandrababu is alleged to have benefited the company to the tune of Rs 150 crore. Can Chandrababu come clean in this episode?
POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT SCAM: It is not only a major scam but imposed constant burden on the state exchequer. Without even knowing whether the state would be able to supply gas to private power producers, Chandrababu government entered into power purchase agreements with Gouthami, GVK, Konaseema and Vemagiri. The Independent Power Producers were assured of fixed tariff on the pretext that Reliance gas would be available by the time they go for power production.
Chandrababu Naidu government even agreed to pay Rs 1020 crore annually if the assured gas is not available. He even made the four IPPs to enter into an MoU with Reliance. “Alternate fuel” clause was also included in the PPA, which would obviously burden distribution companies. With the non-availability of gas, the IPPs demanded that the State government pay fixed charges as per the PPAs. Despite repeated allegations of largescale corruption in the PPAs, Chandrababu never dared to come clean on the issue.
It was only after Rajasekhara Reddy became chief minister, negotiations were held with IPPs and the “alternate fuel” clause was removed. A high-level committee was also constituted for review of the PPAs. The claim of IPPs for Rs 900 crore fixed tariff compensation is pending before the High Court.
RELIANCE GAS: Despite knowing about the invauluable gas deposits in Krishna-Godavari basin, Chandrababu observed a “strategic silence”. While Reliance and Gujarat state government participated in the bidding for gas reserves, Chandrababu looked the other way. Why did Chandrababu remained indifferent? Is it not true that Chandrababu did so to benefit Reliance? Is it not a fact that it was only during the regime of late Rajasekhara Reddy that the state government initiated efforts for claiming rights over the gas reserves?
KRISHNAPATNAM PORT: Krishnapatnam Port was given to Natco by Chandrababu regime. What is the benefit that Babu got from the deal?