Cracking the whip on an illegal structure adjacent to the residence of Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy ordered the demolition of the 'Praja Vedika' building on Monday (June 24).
"The building will be demolished on Wednesday; the day after the Collector's Conference gets over,'' Jagan announced on Monday. The CM made the announcement from the Praja Vedika building, where he also held his government's first Collector's Conference. He said that it will be the last official meeting at the structure.
"Praja Vedika is an illegal structure. It is constructed violating rules. A person of the stature of a Chief Minister had allowed construction of this building. If a CM himself violates rules, imagine the corruption prevailing down the administration?" said Jagan.
"This is the last meeting in this building. After Tuesday's meeting with police officials including Director General of Police (DGP) and others, this building will be demolished. I order officials to demolish the building the very next day of the end of this meeting," he added.
He called this move an instance of "living by example" in a tweet after the meeting.
"Not only the structure was built violating the Green Tribunal's directions, but even the estimates have also been hiked from Rs 5 crore to Rs 8 crore. Do we have a moral right to ask the general public not to encroach or construct illegally?" Jagan asked the collectors during the meeting.
Naidu had written to the state government a few days ago to seek permission to use the Praja Vedika for official purposes. He has been staying at the bungalow since the state administration moved to Vijayawada from Hyderabad.
The house was originally owned by an industrialist and was leased by the previous state government for the official residence of the chief minister. The government later constructed Praja Vedika to conduct meetings.
YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy had said earlier this month that he will make sure that Naidu gets evicted from his residence on the banks of Krishna River and the building is demolished. He had also criticised Naidu for staying in an illegal construction after making tall promises over the construction of capital Amaravati.
The dispute related to the building is currently in the High Court.
Jagan took over the building on Saturday. TDP calls the move "vendetta politics" and alleges that the government showed no courtesy to the former CM and that his belongings were thrown out of the building.
Senior TDP leader and former minister Y Ramakrishnudu had termed the government's action in taking possession of Praja Vedika as 'witch-hunting'. "The government has deliberately resorted to this action. If it did not want to give Praja Vedika, it could have communicated the same in writing," he said.
After the stir caused by Ramakrishna Reddy's statement, TDP MLA Payyavula Keshav said that YSRCP is resorting to vindictive politics, which the present CM said he will not do. He said that everybody will honour whatever orders are given by the court.
The TDP is yet to react to the recent announcement by the CM.