Andhra govt auctions lands, Opposition call it a scam

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to sell 18.9 acres of lands in nine prime areas of the state in an e-auction. Part of the ‘Mission Build AP’ initiative, the e-auction will be held on 29 May and the reserve price of these land parcels is fixed at Rs 208.62 crore. The bidders should pay the amount in three months after the auction. Ruling YSRCP spokesman Dr Kammela Sridhar told The Daily Guardian, “It’s not new as the previous Telugu Desam Party government sold large chunks of lands. The previous government took loans of INR 2.68 lakh crore and left INR 62,000 crore of dues to various institutes. The burden of repayment is on the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government. So, we are transparently Selling lands online. In the time of crisis, the government pools money by such measures and several people are willing to buy land despite lockdown.”

Andhra Pradesh Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana agreed. “The government sells only unused lands and TDP government did the same. It is better to talk about their sale. TDP ran on the sale of lands only and now they are politicising it.” Most of the revenue generated by these sales will be spent on Navaratnas, the government’s flagship programmes, and developing the infrastructure of the state. Six land parcels in prominent locations in Visakhapatnam and three in Guntur have been identified for sale in the first phase of e-auction. The opposition TDP has termed it as a big scam, alleging that the ruling party leaders would buy these lands in prime areas in the name of auction.

TDP national spokesman Pattabhi Ram Kommareddy told The Daily Guardian: “TDP never sold lands for giving freebies and no government in the history sold lands in an e-auction. If any investor comes and creates employment, the government can give land to him/her. TDP created wealth by inviting investment whereas this CM is selling the state itself. It’s a big scam.” BJP leader Lanka Dinakar agreed. “This is one more model brought by the government of Andhra Pradesh to sell valuable urban lands across the state and grab them in benami names of YSRCP’s big fishes.”

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