Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
The Telugu Desam Party is mired in politics over floods at a time when the state is affected by overflowing water levels in some places. Chandrababu Naidu is more concerned with his illegal construction than any other matter. His entire worry seems to be revolve around how his house got surrounded by swirling Krishna river waters. To this, YSRCP Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy had given out a detailed clarification pointing out how several houses along the banks of the river had got submerged.
The TDP supremo's staff made all efforts to prevent flood water from entering his house by transporting sand in huge quantities. Vehicles from Chandrababu's convoy were shifted to a safer place. Things from the lower floor of the house were moved upstairs to prevent any damage to them. The tDP chief shifted to Hyderabad well ahead of his usual weekend visit.
It may be recalled that when he was chief minister, he constantly used to question Leader of Opposition at that time YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as to why he spent time in Hyderabad. Oddly enough, while YS Jagan built a house for himself in the new capital, Chandrababu Naidu even after having been chief minister for five years did not construct his own house. After losing power in Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu has been rushing to Hyderabad given the smallest opportunity.
The TDP chief seems to demonstrate double standards when it comes to his house as in everything else. When he was in power in AP, Chandrababu Naidu raised his Jubilee Hills residence and built a new one there. He did not construct a house in any of the villages of Amaravati, whose praises he sang to the sky. Moreover, he rented Lingamaneni Ramesh's house along the banks of river Krishna. Only once did Chandrababu say that the building owned by the realtor Lingamaneni Ramesh belongs to the government which was affirmed by Ramesh too.
Chandrababu had even stated that all houses barring his would be demolished and the area developed as a tourist place. The rover conservation act does not permit the construction of houses by the banks of Krishna. After being caught red-handed in the note for vote case, Chandrababu shifted to Amaravati in a hurry and began staying in Lingamaneni's illegally constructed house by the banks of river Krishna. He remained unfazed by criticism from Opposition parties. In fact, the TDP chief went a step ahead and got Praja Vedika built. When the YSRCP government demolished Praja Vedika, Chandrababu faulted its decision. As we have seen now, flood waters inundated the entire area. TDP leaders have gone silent. Former minister Devineni Uma went to the extent of saying that YSRCP leaders are rejoicing at flood water entering Chandrababu's house. Equally comical was the statement made by TDP MLC Dokka Manikya Varaprasad. He said that water from the Prakasam barrage was not released properly downstream suggesting that this led to Chandrababu's house getting flooded. These leaders did not acknowledge the fact that Chandrababu had been living in an illegal construction.
From the time that the TDP came to power in 2014, the river Krishna overran its banks once. Devineni Uma, who was then the water resources minister toured the area in a boat and concluded that illegal constructions along the river banks had led to flooding of the area. He announced that they would be demolished soon. The same Devineni Uma speaks in a different voice when flood waters enter the TDP supremo's house.
The TDP's bizarre logic is that its leaders can continue to stay in illegally constructed buildings even when flood waters surround the area. It is high time Chandrababu acknowledges the truth about his illegally constructed accommodation, vacate it and respect the opinion of society. What the government proposes to do with it is another question altogether.