AMARAVATI:The demolition of a Rs. 8 crore building used by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu began late yesterday night. Its demolition had been ordered by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, who claimed the building was “illegal” and said all such structures would be destroyed.
A minister in Mr Reddy’s government has said Mr Naidu’s residence could be torn down next.
Mr Naidu, who was on holiday in Europe and only returned yesterday, said it was foolish to destroy government property. He also asked if the Chief Minister was planning to tear down statues of his father, former chief minster YS Rajasekhara Reddy, saying, “Many statues don’t have permission (and) stand on unauthorized land.”
The TDP chief had earlier written to the new Chief Minister to allow him to retain the hall so he could work from there as the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.
“I wish to continue the same arrangement, that the ‘Praja Vedika’ be declared as the residence annexe of the leader of the opposition, to facilitate me to meet legislators, visitors, common public and discharge my duties,” he wrote.
The building was built by the Capital Regional Development Authority (CRDA) in 2017. The project had been planned for Rs. 5 crore but costs escalated to Rs. 8 crore.
The demolition took place after the Andhra High Court turned down a late night plea and adjourned the hearing by two weeks. The petition had alleged the demolition was a waste of public money.
Mr Naidu’s TDP was voted out in Assembly polls in April, with Mr Reddy’s YSR Congress claiming a massive mandate. The party also decimated the TDP in parliamentary elections, winning 22 of 25 seats to become the fourth-largest in parliament, behind only the BJP, the Congress and the DMK.
Mr Reddy, in his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 30, had discussed issues regarding special category status for Andhra Pradesh, a demand over which Mr Naidu broke away from the National Democratic Alliance.