Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu is trying various means to worm out of a Rs 500 crore Assigned Land Scam in which his henchmen with his support intimidate mainly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe land owners to sell at very nominal rates non-alienable lands given to them in Amaravati area.
Mr Naidu’s henchmen frightened the beneficiaries who were mostly SCs and STs into believing that they would not get any money if they did not sell away their assigned lands that were adjacent to land that was being “pooled” by the then Chandrababu Naidu Government for construction of a new capital for Andhra Pradesh. The government also issued three orders to help henchmen enjoy benefits.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh has booked cases against Mr Naidu and former Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana under Section 420 and 506 of the IPC and the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and served them notices to appear for interrogation. The two Telugu Desam Leaders have however moved court and got interim stay on the notice serviced by the CID to them. Mr Naidu has even launched a campaign in the social media in which persons who reportedly sold their assigned lands to TDP leaders claim that they did it voluntarily.
While purchase of Assigned Land (which cannot be technically sold) is an offence in itself the erstwhile Telugu Desam Government issued three orders—GO Ms.No.41 of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department and GO Ms No..258 and GO Ms No.580 that allowed the persons who illegally purchased the Assigned Lands enjoy the benefits of the Land Pooling Scheme in which they were granted commercial plots as compensation. Sources in the CID said that the Government Orders were issued only after all the 500 acres of Assigned Lands were technically purchases from the land holders.The buyers cleverly entered into sale agreements with the land holder and in several instances taken General Power of Attorney (GPA) from them.The original land holders were intimidated and cheated into parting from their land. An atrocities cases was also filed because most of the landholders were either SCs or STs