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Who is 420 in AP – How the Naidu Govt Stole Lands from the Poor

Land grabbing became synonyms with the TDP and Chandrababu Naidu while he was the Chief Minister of the state. It was fair to compare as it was evident from the way the TDP govt was grabbing lands right and left across the state. All was done in the name of development, but at the end of the four- and half-year rule, the party had nothing to show for. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why people voted him out in 2019 election. It was a humiliating defeat as people didn’t like the way the state was run by TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu.

If the future governments of Andhra Pradesh need to learn one thing from the TDP is to never to underestimate the power of common people. Nevertheless, the TDP party under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu was responsible for taking away the assigned lands from the poor. Was it his arrogance or ignorance that led to such disastrous decision? Only Chandrababu Naidu, who is 420 in AP, can tell.

It is not that govt cannot acquire lands. Chandrababu Naidu allowed land acquiring without following the rules. He had little regard for the laws or rules. He did what he thought was right and as a result Andhra Pradesh was termed as the most corrupt state in the country. Who is 420 in AP? The answer is clear enough.

False Promise by Chandrababu Naidu

After the bifurcation of the state, the TDP party won the election in the new Andhra Pradesh. In its manifesto, the TDP party leader, Chandrababu Naidu promised the following:

“We will stop all the GOs issued by the previous governments as to the taking over of the lands of the poor. We will repel the policy to hand over the lands assigned to the poor to the private organisations. We will gather the data of the all the assigned lands that were taken back from the Dalits in the name of industrialization. We will render justice to Dalits. We buy land and allot two acres land to all the landless Tribal families.”  

But like many of his promises, he did not keep this too. In fact, he did the opposite of what he had promised the poor. He took away the land given to them in the name of development. Who is 420 in AP? It is evident from the false promise that Naidu made to the people.

Land Grabbing by the So-Called Protector of the Poor

The TDP party did the opposite of what it had promised its people. Instead of protecting the poor people, it took away the assigned lands. The assigned and patta lands mostly belonged to the poor BC, SC and ST farmers. But the TDP government was already targeting these lands in name of industrial development. It wanted to take away the lands from the poor paying them in peanuts and then sell it to the corporate cronies who have been loyal to Chandrababu Naidu.

During the Chandrababu rule, the TDP govt had targeted the profitable lands at places like Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Srikalahasti-Erpedu and Donakonda. For the purpose of the industrial development, the TDP government had started land pooling of 22,015.27 acres of patta lands, 20,603.65 acres of assigned lands and 18,696.46 acres of other lands. Going back on its promise, the TDP govt ordered the District Collectors to transfer these lands to the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).

At that time, it seemed that the Chandrababu Naidu govt didn’t waste any time grabbing these lands after it came to power. Most of the development projects were not even half completed.

No Regard for the Law

As per the AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act, 1977, the sale and purchase of the assigned lands of the poor is prohibited. If anyone buys the assigned lands, the govt is supposed to get back the land and give it back to the family. The government can assign the land to someone else if the previous owner is dead or none of its family member has survived.

But for Chandrababu Naidu, law meant nothing it seemed at that time. It didn’t follow the rules, nor did it fulfil its promise to the poor people. In its 2014 manifesto, the TDP party had promised that the lands will be assigned to the SCs and STs. Nothing of sort happened. In fact, the govt was full set to grab the lands of the poor people. The lands were the source of income for the people and they were poorly compensated.

Due to actions like this, people had started asking questions as who is 420 in AP? Well, the answer seems clear to the people who know the history of land grabbing by Chandrababu Naidu and his cronies.

The Bottomline

Chandrababu Naidu has again shown his capacity to lie and go back on his words by grabbing the assigned lands of the poor people. In this case, he grabbed the assigned and patta lands that belonged to the poor STs and SCs. He did it in the name of development, but everyone knows that the kickbacks the party has enjoyed during its rule by selling these lands to the corporate cronies. Who is 420 in AP? You can decide it.

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