Factors that led to demolition of YSRCP's under-construction office

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS): The demolition of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP)'s under-construction central office in Tadepalli of Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district on Saturday led to a war of words between the ruling TDP and Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP.

Jagan Reddy accused the newly-elected Chandrababu Naidu government of pursuing "vendetta politics" while the latter termed it "judicious", claiming that the party office was built illegally on the land of the state's Irrigation Department.

As the issue snowballs into a major controversy, here is an explainer on the irregularities and alleged abuse of power by the then-YSRCP-led government in allotting itself a vast chunk of land for building the party office.

A slew of government documents, available in the public domain, shows how the previous regime overrode the objections by the Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation Department) and went on to "illegally" build the party office. The documents also show consent from government departments was either not taken or bypassed.

On February 16, 2023, the then Special Chief Secretary & Chief Commission of Land Administration Sai Prasad issued an order, allocating the said land for construction of the YSRCP's office.

The District Collector was expected to take due action in this. He was mandated to obtain consent from the Irrigation Department and enter into a lease deed on the stipulated conditions, however, the task was delegated to the Tahsildar of Tadepalli.

Further documents show the Tahsildar handing over land to the YSRCP district president, subject to consent from the irrigation authorities.

A document, purportedly an RTI reply on the said land, says, "no consent was given by the Water Resources Department to alienate or lease land in Tadepalli of Guntur district for construction of YSR Congress Party office building."

Notably, the then Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation Department), in a reply dated February 2, 2023, had refused to give consent for handing over the land and also concluded that "boat yard land can't be given to YSR Congress Party for building party office".

In case of no consent from the Irrigation Department, no lease deed could be entered into and as there is no legal position, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) cannot entertain the permission for construction.

The CRDA rules empower the authority to remove such illegal constructions and the persons who have made such illegal construction are also liable for penal action.

Complaints were filed before the CRDA and the Municipal Corporation and show-cause notices were issued on May 20, 2024, to the YSRCP and Ramky Infra, the builder constructing the office. However, both failed to respond to the notices. Following this, the demolition orders were passed on June 14.

About a week later on June 22 morning, the authorities of Mangalagiri-Tadepalli Municipal Corporation (MTMC) began demolition with bulldozers and excavators.



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Title: Factors that led to demolition of YSRCP's under-construction office

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