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Land row: Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy to lead stir against TDP

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-06-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy will stage a massive sit-in protest or maha dharna in front of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation office on 22 June, against an alleged scam related to encroachment of 270 acres of government land in Visakhapatnam district. The YSRCP has alleged that leaders from the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government tampered with revenue documents.

Reddy is expected to spearhead the protest, for which the YSRCP has invited other parties like the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM. “About 1 lakh acres of land in Visakhapatnam, district, particularly under the assembly constituency areas of Bhimli, Narsipatnam, Visakhapatnam (rural), Pendurthi, etc. have been encroached,” alleged V. Vijay Sai Reddy, Rajya Sabha MP and YSRCP general secretary.

Vijay Sai Reddy claimed that documents of the properties, which fall into categories like assigned land and even forest lands, were tampered with the help of revenue department officials of the Andhra Pradesh government. “It started from 2015 onwards,” he said, and alleged that TDP leaders including Pendurthi MLA B. Satyanarayana were involved in the land scam.

Opposition parties, or at least the left, are all set to join Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s protest on 22 June

After allegations of the scam surfaced, the state government formed a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the matter. On 19 June, The Hindu reported that state director general ofpPolice N. Sambasiva Rao said the SIT was looking into the manipulation of documents.

“Land scams are not new in Vishakhapatnam. They were reported in 2007 and 2012 as well in Andhra Pradesh (joint state, when the Congress was in power). We agree that some of it spilled on and took place in 2015-16. But does Jagan have evidence to prove that it took place in Andhra Pradesh only after 2014 when TDP came to power?” asked TDP spokesperson for Andhra Pradesh, Vijay Kumar.

Opposition parties, or at least the left, are all set to join Reddy’s protest on 22 June. Some of the party leaders partially agreed with Kumar, stating that land scams have been going on for a decade in Viskhakhapatnam district. “We brought this issue to light 10 years ago and have been fighting for it since then. Preliminary, 260 acres or so have been identified (in this case), but it will be more than that,” said Satyanaraya Murthy, assistant secretary, CPI (AP).

Though the Left parties will participate in the 22 June maha dharna, Murthy however claimed that party leaders from the YSRCP are also involved in the land scam in Vishakhapatnam district.

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