The four and half years of Chandrababu Naidu as the CM of bifurcated state was market by corruption and scams. The massive case of corruption in the state reached such a height that Andhra Pradesh was termed as the most corrupt state in the country. And that came from the CAG – Comptroller and Auditor General of India. It was not an allegation from the opposition or the media alone, it was carefully scrutinized by several competent agencies including the CAG.
During his entire terms, Naidu was known for land grabbing scams, bribes, commissions, kick-backs, expensive foreign tours and backstabbing the people of the state. While there are many instances that shows who is 420 in AP, some major scams stand out clearly from the rest.
Here are the 4major issues that makes Chandrababu Naidu the villain who is 420 in AP:
- Betraying his Own People
Chandrababu Naidu betrayed his own people. He first supported the bifurcation of the state thinking of scoring a win in Telangana election. This was against the wish of the people. He failed to read the room. Then he opposed the formation of Telangana trying to please the home voters. In both the cases, he failed miserably to take a clear stand. He hurt the sentiments of the people as the state of AP suffered due to the bifurcation.
After the bifurcation and him winning the election, he started the series of betrayal through various actions. First, he didn’t pay attention to what people wanted. They wanted food, better healthcare, jobs and better living condition. Instead, Naidu was busy selling them the dream of creating the new Hyderabad in the state. Then came the scams, corruption and land grabbing from the same people who trusted him. Who is 420 in AP? People of AP can answer it better than anyone.
- Land Grabbing Disguised at Land Pooling
Amravati was chosen as the place for establishing the new capital in the state. So far so good. What people didn’t know was that Naidu and his cronies were busy buying lands in the area even before Amravati was named as the capital. This was the inside job. His benamis bought the land in cheaper prices before the announcement. They were set to gain as the price will be raised after the announcement. What they bought at throwaway prices will be sold in crores per acre in the future.
In the name of building a model state capital, Chandrababu Naidu started the process of land pooling instead of land acquisition. For the latter, the state needs to get the approval of at least 70% of the population. It was clear that he couldn’t do this. So, he opted for land pooling where they buy individual lands. The farmers who had to give up their land didn’t even get the compensation they deserved. They were paid in peanuts, while Naidu and his cronies were set to swim in crores of rupees.
Now, Amravati is set to lose its significance as it won’t be the only state capital in Andhra Pradesh. It seems that the people had parted with their land for nothing. If you asked them who is 420 in AP, you will get the answer as Chandrababu Naidu.
- Extension of Projects
Another area where the Naidu govt thrived when it comes to corruption, it’s the irrigation projects. The Polavaram Project was one of the many irrigation projects that were extended on some vague pretext. The project extension resulted in expensive cost estimates, which was not required in really. What really happened was the money exchanged hands and finally the Naidu and his cronies benefited from it. The unnecessary extension only our more strain on the state treasury.
One of the things that came into light was how Naidu misused the power and handed the contracts to the companies that were close to the TDP party. Some of the contractors were relatives of the TDP leaders. Naidu was well known for handing our contracts like gifts to his chosen companies on the ‘nomination’basis. While doing so he flouted many rules and allowed the corruption to happen in the state. No doubt the people suffered, but Naidu and his gang enjoyed the inflow of money.
- Allocating Lands to Corporates
Chandrababu Naidu made several foreign trips to Japan, USA, and many other countries. He didn’t travel in the regular planes, instead he traveled in chartered planes. He promised to bring investments in the state, which remain unfulfilled till 2019 where he and his party lost the election.
When a few companies that did agree to invest, it looked too good to be true. For instance, LuLu, a UAE-based company was given the land in Vizag for building 5-star hotel. Instead of giving them a land at a less developed place, it was given the land at a highly valued location. The whole point of FDI is that all the places get equal attention. But, the Naidu govt went out of its way to please the investors and gave them the land in surplus. What’s more, they were even given lands that was previously assigned to CRM group. Not just that, the Naidu govt even bore some of the expenses like registration fees to accommodate the needs of the company.
In another instance, Franklin Templeton was given the ownership of the land even before the project half completed. The company had a shady reputation of not completing the work or providing jobs as promised. Till 2019 election, most of the promises never materialized.
Who is 420 in AP? It is easy to answer if you go through the list of scams and corruption that happened when Chandrababu Naidu was the CM of the state. He let his people down, he let the state down and he made a lot of money out of it.