Anyone who has been following the Andhra Pradesh politics knows that the state under the rule of Chandrababu Naidu was the most corrupt one. CAG declared AP as the most corrupt state in the country followed by other competent organizations. His rule was riddled with scams and corruptions. But the biggest scams of all was the real estate scam.
It was the land scam that happened in the name of building a world-class capital in the state. Everyone knows that real estate is the most profitable sector that never goes out of fashion. Even during the recession, the real estate business thrives. If you have a piece of land, it will pay off handsomely in the future. And that is exactly why the TDP Leaders and Naidu cronies were after the lands in the state.
This is a story of inside trading that led to the biggest land scam in the history of India. And, it also led to people mockingly asking who is 420 in AP? If you know what happened between 2014 and 2019, you already have the answer to the question – who is 420 in AP?
Real Estate Scam That Rocked the State
It all started with the promise of building the world=class capital in the state. Andhra Pradesh was dealing with the bifurcation of the state and loss of Hyderabad as its capital. Now, it was really important to create a brand-new capital. A place is needed to build a capital and it was not decided yet. This where the scam begins. At first, the then Chief Minister of AP, Chandrababu Naidu misled the people of the state by projecting different names through leaks. Media leaks suggested that the areas of Nuzvidand Nagarjuna University were considered for the development of the state capital.
However, a bigger conspiracy was being planned as the real name of the place for building the capital was Amravati region. This was hidden from everyone except for the TDP leaders including Naidu and his cronies.
In technical terms, this is called as the inside job when only a few people know of things before they are made public. And they take actions based on the information to reap benefits. Right from his swearing-in on June 8, 2014, to the date ofannouncement of the new capital city location onDecember 28, 2014, people, associated with Naidu and the party had bought thousands of acres of land in Amaravatiregion.
The lands at that time didn’t cost much as nobody knew about the plans. So, the people who knew about it bought the lands at cheaper rates. And, after the name was announced, the value of the land increased ten-fold overnight.
Selective Acquiring of Land
Due to this inside trading, the people associated with TDP and Chandrababu Naidu benefited immensely. They bought lands at lower prices and could now sell it in crores and crores of rupees. Meanwhile, the government had started the process of land pooling as it couldn’t do it the traditional way. Less than 70% of the people of Amravati agreed and as per the rules, the land cannot be acquired with the consent of at least 70% of the people.
The second option was land-pooling, which is done by buying land from individual land owners. The poor farmers were made to part with their lands with a promise of a world-class capital city. Their lands were bought at throwaway price and the compensation was laughable.
When it comes to land acquiring process, the government deliberately left out the lands that belonged to Chandrababu Naidu’s cronies or loyalists. For example, the lands of Lingamaneni Estate and Ramakrishna Constructions were exempted from the land pooling process. This speaks volume of what was happening in the name of land pooling. Chandrababu Naidu had also exempted the 43-acres of land of his party MLA Kommalapati Sridhar from land pooling.
If you see the magnitude of the real estate scam in the name of development, you probably will be asking the same question – who is 420 in AP?
Using Fear to Buy Lands from the Farmers
Chandrababu Naidu boosted about the land pooling process and how it benefited everyone, especially the farmers. He failed to tell the truth behind it. He never told that had used the power of fear mongering to acquire the land. The assigned lands of the poor farmers and people from the reserved category were snatched away by the trick. Rumors were floating that the assigned lands will be taken from the people without any compensation. Fearing the loss of land and no money, the farmers and people sold their lands to the TDP leaders at a very low price. Later, the Naidu govt came up with a compensation package that was not enough given the value of the land the people had to sell.
Who is 420 in AP? It is easy to decide that after reading how Chandrababu Naidu misused his power to take away land and benefit from it.
The Amravati land scam was the biggest scams in the history of the state. Chandrababu Naidu used his power to buy lands from the poor farmers at lower prices and let his cronies keep the high-value lands. The inside trading paid off for the then CM and his people.in 2019, TDP lost miserably and the land scam was one of the reasons for it.
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