In a master stroke, the newly appointed Andhra Pradesh government led by Y.S. Jagan Reddy has reversed the decision of the previous Telugu Desam Party government allowing the Central agencies to carry out raids and investigation. This may spell serious trouble for former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his family in the coming days.
The TDP government through an order withdrew the general consent, virtually curtailing the Central agency’s powers to investigate in the state in November last year.
The general consent is routinely given by the state governments for periods ranging from six months to one year to the CBI and all agencies under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.
According to highly placed sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation, the agency may take up the investigation in eight cases where dealings worth Rs 30,000 crore are involved in the state.
Sources indicated that in September last year, a public interest litigation was filed by a retired Judge K. Sravan Kumar in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a CBI probe involving Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh for alleged corruption.
The PIL filed by the retired judge alleged that Naidu and Lokesh were involved in a case of corruption worth Rs 21,000 crore by signing fake MoUs with the companies in the name of investments.
Naidu’s son Lokesh made his political debut in May 2013. It is alleged that Lokesh was very active in Andhra Pradesh and was instrumental in most of the MoUs’ signing with various companies in the name of investment.
Even the YSR Congress Party in 2017 filed a complaint with the CBI against Lokesh alleging that he grabbed government land spread over 80 acres in Andhra Pradesh. The CBI had accepted the complaint, but asked the party to seek court’s direction for the probe as the land in question belonged to the revenue department of the Andhra Pradesh government.
Even Lokesh’s wife Nara Brahmani had come under the CBI scanner in 2011, as the agency had served her notices in connection with the purchase of a villa in Emaar Properties.
The sources indicated even Naidu’s ambitious Polavaram project is also likely to come under the central agencies’ scanner as the estimated cost of the project rose from Rs 16,010 crore to Rs 58,319.06 crore.
The construction of Andhra Pradesh capital Amravati is under the lens as it is alleged that about 33,000 acres of land under the land pooling scheme was acquired in different methods for construction of the city.
Amaravati was announced as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh on December 28, 2014.
Probe agencies’ sources said that even the land records pertaining to more than one lakh acres have gone missing in Visakhapatnam.
CBI sources said that Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Sana, who was at the centre of the CBI infighting in October last year and was also accused of bribing top CBI officials to get relief in a case was said to be a friend of Naidu.
The sources said that the irrigation projects in the Naidu regime can also spell trouble for the TDP chief as a few select companies were given government orders against all norms and regulations in the state.