‘When AP is burning…’: TDP after Jagan govt spends Rs 15 cr on CM house – south

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday attacked the Andhra Pradesh government for spending more than Rs 15 crore on furnishing chief minister YSR Jaganmohan Reddy’s house in Guntur during what he said was a financial crisis in the state.

Naidu, the former chief minister, quoted a series of government orders issued in the last four months and alleged that the government had spent Rs 15.65 crore on “his palatial home” at Tadepalli.

“When Rome burned, Nero fiddled. When AP is burning under financial strain due to 5 months’ misrule & construction workers are ending lives, the Nero of AP @ysjagan is busy playing video games at his palatial home on which a staggering Rs 15.65 crore was spent by the government. Shocking!” Naidu tweeted.

“@ysjagan’s Govt has allotted a whopping Rs. 73 LAKHS to fix WINDOWS for his house! Now that’s one super expensive view at the expense of State exchequer! This comes at a time when AP is grappling with fiscal mess caused by mismanagement in the last 5 months. Truly cringe-worthy! (sic)” the Telugu Desam Party leader added.

Jagan performed a house-warming ceremony of his house on February 27 this year and after he took over as the chief minister on May 30, he decided to continue in the same house which has been declared as his official bungalow.

Since then, the roads and buildings department has been making various modifications to the house in tune with the needs of a chief minister’s official bungalow spending money from the public exchequer.

While orders were issued on June 26 for spending Rs 1.89 crore on a helipad and other facilities like fencing, laying of approach road, permanent barricading, police barrack and security posts, another Rs 5 crore was released on June 25 for widening and strengthening of Revendrapadu-Seethanagaram road to pave a smooth way for the chief minister’s convoy.

On July 12, the department sanctioned Rs 3.63 crore for electrical and electromechanical works pertaining to the CM’s camp office and residence. On August 20, Rs 2.5 lakh was released for the construction of ‘Praja Vedika’, a public grievances hall.

On October 15, an amount of Rs 73 lakh was released for supply and installation of aluminium windows, doors and miscellaneous works for the chief minister’s residence and office block.

On October 31, the department accorded administrative sanction for Rs 3.35 crore towards compensation for 0.148 acres of land for construction of view cutter at the CM’s residence.

When contacted, a spokesperson of the chief minister’s office (CMO) refused to make any comment on Naidu’s tweets on the money spent on Jagan’s residence.

However, a CMO official said on condition of anonymity that the amount spent on the CM’s residence was absolutely within the permitted limit and was essential in accordance with the security requirements.

“In fact, certain expenditure by the government was not for the personal use of the chief minister. For example, the widening and strengthening of the road at a cost of Rs 5 crore was useful for all people, not just for the chief minister,” the official said.

The official quoted above said that the Rs 2.5 lakh spent on Praja Darbar was for the erection of tents and buying chairs for people who come to meet the chief minister to submit their grievances.

“How can the opposition leader find fault with the erection of security installations, lights, barricades and police posts?” the official asked.

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