Telegu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu and his partymen have been accused of corruption in a video released by Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress Party amid his outreach to farmers who are protesting against the state government's proposal of shifting the capital from Amaravati.
A day before Mr Naidu, along with his wife Bhuvaneswari, joined the farmers protest, the ruling party on Tuesday released a video. It listed names of former ministers and associates of the ex-chief minister who allegedly indulged in insider trading and purchased lands in Amaravati before Mr Naidu had announced in 2014 that it would be the state capital.
The claims earlier made by Jaganmohan Reddy - before he assumed chief minister's office - have now been repeated in the clip released by his party. TDP chief's brother-in-law and actor-politician Balakrishna Naidu has also been named in the list and the party claims that "more than 4,000 acres of land was acquired in this manner".
TDP leaders and aides acquired lands by illegal and forceful means from farmers, Jagan Reddy's party claims.
The Sivaramakrishnan Committee was appointed in March 2014 to identify location for setting up the capital in the bifurcated state of Andhra Pradesh. In September, the TDP government had announced in assembly that capital would be set up near Vijayawada. Later, on December 30, the state government had passed the Capital Region Development Authority Act with 25 villages of Tadepalli and Mangalagiri Mandals of Guntur district as the capital region.
The Sivaramakrishnan Committee's recommendations "were ignored", the YSR Congress has claimed, adding that the panel had said that the region was prone to floods.
Between June and December, people close to the TDP bought over 4,000 acres lands," the YSR Congress claims. The government then acquired land from farmers. "33,000 acres acquired from 29 villagers," it said.
On Thursday, YSRCP MLA Ambati Rambabu said it was "unconstitutional" to leak information about the capital before it was announced. Mr Naidu had indulged in illegal practices and leaked the government secrets even after taking oath as a Chief Minister, he said. He said Mr Naidu, his son Lokesh and adopted son Pawan Kalyan were trying to intensify the farmers protest for their political benefits.
Mr Naidu's wife Bhuaneswari, instead of donating bangles for the protest, must return the lands that were purchased in the capital city region, he said. "Why is Bhuvaneswari showing so much affection and sympathy for this specific protest when she was not concerned about several other issues that took place in the past?" he questioned. Bhuaneswari had not come out during the Godavari Pushakaralu incident and even when her father NTR was betrayed and politically back-stabbed, he added. "Was it the love for the capital or fear of losing their business?" he questioned.
Earlier this week, Chandrababu Naidu had announced that he and his party would not celebrate the New Year and would instead donate the money to farmers who have been agitating for over two weeks against state's proposal to shift the capital.