VIJAYAWADA: A war of words broke out between the YSRC and the TDP on Friday, a day after the Income Tax (I-T) department said its recent raids on 40 premises in different places including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana revealed that more than Rs 2,000 crore was siphoned off.
With the YSRC pointing fingers at the opposition party, the TDP shot back. “Fearing being sent back to prison, Jagan is trying to link the I-T raids... to the TDP. It is but natural for a person who spent 16 months in jail to wish others too are jailed,” TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said.
YSRC leaders, meanwhile, said the raids exposed the true face of the TDP. “The illegal assets unearthed during the I-T raids... are only the tip of the iceberg,” said Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu.
In a statement released on Friday, the TDP said, “The (CM) Jagan Mohan Reddy government awarded the reverse tendering contract of the Polavaram project to a company that was raided by IT officials. Even the Centre objected to changing the contractor... The government should explain why it handed over the project to such a company.”
The TDP further termed reports linking the unaccounted wealth to former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s former personal secretary P Srinivas as blatant lies, and highlighted that the latter was relieved nine months ago. The party also alleged that Jagan tarnished the image of the State at the international level by using shell companies for money laundering.
“After being accused in the Rs 43,000 crore scam involving 11 cases, Jagan resorted to a smear campaign against Naidu’s family, which has disclosed the assets of all members for the last eight years. Why did Jagan fail to disclose his and his family members’ assets?” the party asked.
“Jagan, who is neck-deep in corruption, now wants to drag others down. This is the only intention behind the YSRC linking the IT raids to the TDP,” former minister Devineni Umammaheswara Rao claimed.
The TDP further asked why YSRC leaders were silent on the CBI affidavit which sought for Jagan not to be granted exemption from personal appearance in the CBI court as it could lead to influencing witnesses.
Meanwhile, YSRC leaders, including a host of ministers, stated that the IT raids have exposed the true face of the TDP. “Naidu should demand an in-depth probe into the illegal assets of his former personal secretary unearthed by the IT department to prove his and his party’s innocence,” said Minister for Municipal Administration Botcha Satyanarayana.