Andhra: Civic body demolishes YSRC party office building

Despite objections, the YSRC government allotted the land on February 16, 2023, via GO No 52, bypassing procedures.
The demolished under-construction YSRC office building at Sitanagaram in Tadepalli mandal of Guntur district.
The demolished under-construction YSRC office building at Sitanagaram in Tadepalli mandal of Guntur district.Photo | Prasant Madugula

VIJAYAWADA : The Mangalagiri Tadepalli Municipal Corporation (MTMC) officials demolished the under construction YSRC party office building at Sitanagaram in Tadepalli mandal of Guntur district in the early hours of Saturday, stating that it was an illegal construction.

YSRC leaders denounced the demolition of the building and described it as a ‘destructive’ vendetta of the TDP-led NDA government against the party.

Condemning the demolition of his party office, YSRC president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that the demolition was carried out disregarding the High Court orders.

He decried the erosion of law and justice in the State, and interpreted the demolition as a signal of the TDP-led NDA government’s aggressive stance for the next five years. Jagan vowed to fight for justice on behalf of the people, and appealed to democrats nationwide to condemn Naidu’s actions.

Former YSRC minister Ambati Rambabu also questioned Naidu’s priorities on X, contrasting the party office building demolition with the unimplemented NDA poll promises like ‘Super 6’.

However, the AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) clarified that the YSRC party office was being built on the land owned by the irrigation department. The previous government leased the land, which was a boat yard and water body, to the YSRC at a low price for its office building.

Naidu took vendetta politics to next level: Jagan

“Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu took vendetta politics to the next level. Like a dictator, he got the YSRCP’s central office building demolished with excavators and bulldozers, which was almost complete,” said YSRC president and former chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, in a post on social media platform X.

TDP makes it clear that YSRC building was an illegal structure

The CRDA issued notices against the illegal construction on the land, and the municipal authorities demolished the illegal structures, it stated.

APCRDA development promotion wing director Venkata Subbaiah said the State government issued GO No 52 on February 16, 2023, allocating two acres of land in survey number 202/A1 at Tadepalli to the YSRC district president on lease at Rs 1,000 per annum for 33 years for their party office.

The party leaders commenced construction of the building without getting consent from the irrigation department, and proceeded without permission from the MTMC. Following this, the authorities issued a Provisional Order on May 20, 2024 to halt the illegal construction. When there was no response, a Confirmation Order was issued on June 1. As there was response from the party to the Confirmation Order, the municipal authorities issued a Speaking Order, and subsequently demolished the illegal construction.

Around 5 am, the municipal authorities reached the spot with excavators and bulldozers, and demolished the building. The ground floor of the building was almost ready, with only slab pending. Heavy police force was deployed at the place during the demolition. YSRC activists were prevented from reaching the spot, which led to a tense atmosphere in Tadepalli. Earlier, challenging the preliminary proceedings of the CRDA to demolish the under construction building, the YSRC approached the High Court. The court directed the CRDA not to overstep the law, and YSRC’s counsel brought this to the attention of the CRDA Commissioner.

The YSRC alleged that the CRDA, with the help of municipal officials, carried out the demolition, ignoring the High Court’s directives. It also claimed that no notices were issued, and that the demolition amounts to contempt of court.

The CRDA issued notices against the illegal construction on the land, and the municipal authorities demolished the illegal structures.
The CRDA issued notices against the illegal construction on the land, and the municipal authorities demolished the illegal structures.Photo | Prasant Madugula

TDP Guntur district general secretary Pothineni Srinivasa Rao lodged a complaint alleging that the previous government allotted two acres of irrigation land in Tadepalli to the YSRC party office. Despite the irrigation department’s objections, the YSRC leaders planned to build the office on the two acres, and expand it to an additional 15 acres without proper approvals from the CRDA, MTMC, irrigation and revenue departments. Following his complaint, the building under construction was demolished, he said.

Refuting the YSRC allegations, the ruling party said, “They are terming the demolition of an illegal structure a political retaliation. Laughable.”

In a press release, the party said the YSRC ignored objections from Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation) C Narayana Reddy over the allotment of the land to the party office.

On January 31, 2023, the Vijayawada Superintending Engineer sought consent from the Engineer-in-Chief to lease the land for the YSRC party office. On February 2, 2023, the Engineer-in-Chief refused consent, citing the need to protect water bodies, ongoing National Green Tribunal issues, and future department plans.

Despite objections, the YSRC government allotted the land on February 16, 2023, via GO No 52, bypassing procedures. Previously, the TDP government had allotted land in Guntur City for the YSRC district office via GO No 340 on July 21, 2016. However, in February 2023, Special Chief Secretary and Chief Commissioner of Land Administration Sai Prasad issued another GO allocating the land for the YSRC, overriding the earlier GO, it added.

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