Newly elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday ordered the demolition of a government building built during the tenure of Chandrababu Naidu allegedly at a cost of Rs 5 crore, saying it was constructed in “violation” of rules and “involved corruption”.
Built by the AP Capital Region Development Authority on the Krishna riverbed near Chandrababu’s residence, the ‘Praja Vedika’ was used by the TDP chief as a venue to meet the public and hold press conferences.
The announcement was made by the YSR Congress chief at a conference of District Collectors and Superintendents of Police held in the same building.
“We have all assembled here, in this big, gigantic hall. Is this building a legally valid building? In this, there are no rules. It is built in violation of rules, against the law and built with corruption,” PTI quoted Reddy as saying.
Reddy said it was the last event at the building known as ‘Praja Vedika’ and it would be demolished on Wednesday.
“River Conservation Act was overruled, Lokayukta recommendations were overruled. Environment Protection Act, River Conservation Act, National Green Tribunal orders, Master Plan and building by-laws…government itself threw them to the winds,” he added.
Naidu had written to the new Chief Minister on June 4 to allow him to retain the hall as ‘residence annexe’ so that he could work from there as the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly
“I wish to continue the same arrangement, that the Praja Vedika be declared as the residence annexe of the leader of the opposition, to facilitate me to meet legislators, visitors, common public and discharge my duties,” Mr Naidu wrote.
Built in 2017 by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, the building was conveniently located near Naidu’s home.
However, the YSRCP has also claimed that the house where Naidu lived when he was Chief Minister, on the banks of the Krishna river, was illegally built as well.