October 5, 2020

How Chandrababu Naidu Scammed Amravati Farmers of Their Lands – Who is 420 in AP

Corruption was at all time high during the Chandrababu Naidu’s span as the Chief Minister of new Andhra Pradesh. After the division of the State in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the later needed a new Capital city. Andhra Pradesh lost it capital Hyderabad to Telangana when the division happened. With the promise to build the same technical hub as Hyderabad in the New Andhra Pradesh, the Chandrababu Naidu government had declared Amravati as the new state capital. Everything seems to be alright the, except it was not.

The lands were bought from the farmers, and other poor people in the Amravati and its nearby region. All this happened even before the government has officially announced Amravati as Capital of the state. It was insider trading that led to the purchase of 1000 acres of lands at a low price. People, politicians, businessmen, and anyone who was associated with Chandrababu Naidu and his party had upper hand. This is a scam that happened during his tenure as CM in which the poor farmers were duped of their lands without their knowledge of what was happening. The promise of development and good turn on investment was actually a land scam. No doubt many people will not hesitate in terming Chandrababu Naidu as 420 in AP.

Insider Trading in Amravati

Chandrababu Naidu has been accused of inside trading in Amravati. He and his party Telugu Desam Party, and his “proxies” bought hundreds and thousands of acres of land at a throwaway price with a promise to build a new capital. All was well until he lost the election because of the huge corruption charges against him. The voters definitely were not happy with his rule or his tolerance for corruption. The ruling party that came into power with a landslide victory, set up a Cabinet sub-committeeto inquire into the irregularities by the Telugu Desam Party government. During the investigation, the committer unearthed a huge scam in the land deals. Don’t blame anyone who says Chandrababu Naidu is 420 in AP as the corruption in his tenure justifies the title.

Read: How Chandrababu Naidu Lost Touch with the People of AP

The report that was submitted mentioned the inside trading in Amravati where the Chandrababu Naidu government purchased 4,075 acres of land in Amaravati even before the announcement was made for creating a new capital.In the report, it mentioned how the Heritage group of former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Lingamaneni, and VemuriHariprasadhad bought large tracts of land in the capital region. Not just that, several ministers like PrattipatiPullarao, P Narayana, and Paritala Sunita had also purchased land ahead of the announcement. The most shocking thing about the report was the mention of some white ration cardholders who bought land worth crores of rupees.Who is 420 in AP? Now you know it.

Land Pooling or Fooling the People

The Chandrababu government didn’t take the right course of action when it comes to acquiring the land from the farmers and poor people The TDP government had a plan where it was supposed tobuild new capital over 33,000 acres of land. To convince the farmers to sell their lands voluntarily for the project, the TDP government launched a land pooling scheme in December 2014.The TDP govt made it look very farmer-friendly, but it was not. It was mere a scheme to avoid the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.The scam definitely made Chandrababu Naidu as the 420 in AP.

Under the law, any govt requires consent of 70% families that will be affected by the people, before they can acquire the land. This clause was introduced to prevent any unethical method of taking away the farmland against the will of the people of the lands. The law requires that the government not only pay the monetary compensation to all landowners but also rehabilitate the landless families affected by the project. But this seems to have been very hard for the TDP government. Instead of doing the right things, the former CM opted for land pooling scheme, which turned out to be a huge scam.

What is land pooling?

Land pooling scheme by the TDP govt was just a detour to skirt the law. It involves an agreement with individual landowners. This way the government didn’t have to deal with the difficulties of collective acquisition as it removes the need for any public consultation.This scheme not only made it easier for the TDP govt to acquire the land, it saved them money too. In other words, the poor farmers who didn’t understand the complexity of the scheme, fell for the scam. Little did they know that they sold their lands and livelihood for a very poor payment and compensation. If anyone asks who is 420 in AP, then the answer would be Chandrababu Naidu for this big scam in the state.

The Farmers Were Paid in peanuts

To add to the insult to injury, the Chandrababu Naidu Govt paid the farmers in peanuts. Right from the purchase price to compensation, the amount the people were paid was laughable. The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act was notified in 2015. The terms of compensation were set and it was not enough. It said that for every acre or 4,840 square yards of wet farming land on the banks of Krishna river, a 1000-yardresidential plot or 450 yards of commercial plot will be given to the affected owners. For the dry agricultural land, 250 Sq Yards of commercial plot would be given. In addition to that, the govt had promised to pay an annual rent of Rs 50,000 per acre of wet farmland and Rs 30,000 per acre of dry land. This makes the TDP leader 420 in AP.

Since the state capital hasn’t been announced yet, Chandrababu Naidu and his party and many people set to gain started buying the land before the price went up. It is was clear that the Govt had involved in the insider trading which allowed them to buy the lands at a very low price. Many people associated with the TDP party and Chandrababu Naiduwere had upper hand and they bough the lands at a very low price. The farmers were fooled and were paid very less for what a state capital land is worth.

Read: Corruption Charges Against Chandrababu Naidu in AP

The Bottom-line

No doubt, Chandrababu Naidu is considered as 420 in AP because of all the corruption charges against him. In news the Amravati Land Scam was a last nail in the coffin and the farmers were the biggest losers in this scam. They not sold their land a throwaway price, they were under-compensated. What do you think, who is 420 in AP?

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