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TDP, TRS face opposition fire over land scams in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-06-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: The alleged involvement of leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh in land scams has provided ammunition to the opposition parties to target the governments in the states.

Two land scams in the Hyderabad district of Telangana and Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh involving 692 acres and 270 acres of land respectively surfaced earlier this month.

As per allegations, 692 acres of government land in the Miyapur area of Telangana was illegally transferred in December 2016. A case has been registered with the Kukatpally police, and the matter is under investigation.

Opposition parties in Telangana also alleged that senior TRS leaders were involved in the Miyapur land scam

Separately, around 270 acres of land in Visakhapatnam district, mostly government property, came under the scrutiny of the Andhra government after it was found that land records in certain areas had been tampered with. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising police and state government officials has been formed to conduct an inquiry.

YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijayasai Reddy said that in Visakhapatnam, land documents were tampered with, with the help of revenue department officials. He alleged that three particular TDP leaders were involved and that the affected “victims” were asked to “settle” the matter with the leaders.

On Thursday, the YSRCP led by Jagan Mohan Reddy will stage a maha dharna at Visakhapatnam along with other opposition parties, to protest against the TDP government in Andhra.

Opposition parties in Telangana also alleged that senior TRS leaders were involved in the Miyapur land scam. The Congress, BJP and TDP have also held protests over the last few weeks against the government.

N. Vijay Kumar, spokesperson for TDP, said experts who had dealt with similar cases are part of the SIT and that if the scam is bigger, then the Central Bureau of Investigation’s intervention could be sought.

TDP, which is facing allegations of corruption in Andhra, has itself been protesting against the TRS government in Telangana and even held protests in every district of the new state a few weeks ago over the Miyapur land scam.

“In Telangana’s case, we know who was responsible and they have been booked. If the opposition knows the same in AP, they can provide evidence. In Visakhapatnam, we still don’t know what exactly transpired,” he told Mint.

After the Miyapur land scam came to light, the Telangana government also transferred more than 70 sub-registrars and directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct raids to keep a check on similar malfeasances across the state.

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A press release issued by chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s office said that not an inch of government land had been lost despite an attempt being made by the three accused. According to Rao, fake General Powers of Attorneys (GPA) were created to try and illegally sell the land at Miyapur.

M. Krishank, spokesperson, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), alleged that the TRS government was not transparent in its functioning and that some of its leaders were involved in the Miyapur scam.

“Actually, seeds were sown to make such fake registrations when the TDP was in power in the joint AP state and the plants of such transactions grew later when the Congress was ruling. The TRS government has suspended the officer, and also transferred sub-registrars across the state, which is a new precedent. It will make sure that all the responsible culprits are caught,” said senior TRS leader Taduri Srinivas Prajapati.

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