Congress legislators have questioned the move by the late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy to lease land for limestone quarries to a company run by his son Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Congress MLA P. Shankar Rao has called the allotment “improper” because it was made when the polls for the 2009 Lok Sabha and assembly elections were announced and the model code of conduct, which prohibits such decisions, was in force.
The state government has leased 1,515 acres (one acre = 43,560 sq feet) of limestone quarries (estimated value
R3,000 crore) in Guntur district to a company called Saraswati Power and Industries, belonging to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s family, for setting up a seven-million-tonne cement plant.
Jagan Mohan is a Congress MP whose relations with the party have hit a rough patch because his claim to chief ministership was ignored after the accidental death of his father.
Dismissing the allegations as “baseless”, he said, “Those who did not like him are making baseless allegations. There is a conspiracy to defame him,” he said.
Former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu too has termed the allotment of mines “another instance of YSR (Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy) securing the public properties for his family”. D.L. Ravindra Reddy, a Congress MLA from YSR’s Kadapa district, has questioned the legality of the allotment, arguing that the mines were allotted before the company thought of building the plant.
The charges have come barely 72 hours after the income-tax department started probing the accounts of six companies that have invested in Jagan’s firms.