No ‘hanky panky’ in projects initiated with previous govt: Chandrababu Naidu

TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu (Photo: Mint)

Lashing out at the Andhra Pradesh government for conducting inquiries into several projects (power purchase agreements, Polavaram project tenders, etc) initiated by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TD) government, former chief minister and TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday said that the Centre has cleared the air on those matters and that there is no “hanky panky” in anything.

“Amaravati will not be flooded (as against environmental concerns), even the NGT (National Green Tribunal) has said it. A state needs a capital. Telangana has Hyderabad. If we didn’t develop it, would it have been that way?,” questioned Naidu while addressing a press conference at Guntur on Friday. Naidu once again, as in the past, remarked that Hyderabad was “his brainchild”, and that he will always be proud of it.

“What is the speciality of Hyderabad? It has the outer ring road, an international airport, a metro rail, Cyberabad City (Hi-Tech city, IT sector) and it is going forward as a knowledge economy. Don’t we need that here? Karnataka has Bangalore and they are happy,” stated Naidu, and questioned the need to institute inquiries into all past projects initiated by his government.

The TDP supremo added that he decided to go for self-financing for Amaravati so that the capital can eventually generate wealth on its own after being set up. “It won’t develop in one day. Farmers gave their lands for it and we promised them infrastructure in (within Amaravati). We gave concessions for institutions so that we can have best the best infrastructure there. We were building a modern city,” Naidu said, adding that the present YSR Congress Party-led government, headed by chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has “finished the city and the Polavaram project).

“They are cancelling everything. Even the Govt. of India reviewed the projects and it told them (AP government) clearly that there is no hanky panky in the projects. It said that very clearly,” Naidu said, censuring Reddy.

Earlier in July, the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government decided to pre-close tenders worth over Rs.3,000 crore (given to Navayuga Engineering company) for the Polavaram national irrigation project which is being executed to irrigate the state by inter-linking rivers. The move did not go well with the Centre, which has asked the Polavaram project Authority (PPA) to give it a detailed report on the matter.

Similarly, after winning the 2019 assembly polls, the YSRCP-led decided to also examine existing power purchase agreements (PPA) with high tariffs, another move which did not go down well with the Centre, which in July asked the AP government to not cancel any PPAs unless there is clear evidence of corruption.