Andhra Pradesh govt retrieves land from Amara Raja, TDP cries harassment

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HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday ordered retrieving over 253 acres out of 483 acres of land allotted Amara Raja group belonging to the Opposition Telugu Desam Party Lok Sabha member Jayadev Galla’s family, alleging non-utilisation of the land for allotted purposes.

The move comes nearly ten years after the land was allotted to Amara Raja group in November 2010 at the then-prevailing market price for setting up an industrial park.

Opposition TDP cried foul and accused the ruling YSR Congress government led by chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of targeting the businesses of the Opposition lawmakers, and a political vendetta also used to coerce defections.

Issuing a communique through the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) on Tuesday, the AP industries and commerce ministry ordered to retrieve 253.61 acres of land out of 483.27 acres allotted to Amara Raja Infratech in Chittoor district.

Amara Raja group of Lok Sabha member Jayadev Galla’s family with 16 different sectoral businesses employ nearly 17,000 staff and reported $1.35 billion in revenues in 2019. Some of the prominent businesses include storage batteries, automotive batteries, industrial batteries, automotive components, electronics, power projects, infrastructure, food and beverages, among others.

In its Tuesday orders, the Andhra government claimed that Amara Raja Infratech kept some of the land idle and vacant in violation of the agreement entered into with the government while seeking allotment of the land in November 2010.

Accusing the YSR Congress Party government of resorting to harassing the businesses owned by the Opposition leaders, TDP Spokesperson Pattabhi Ram Kommareddy said Amara Raja, the largest income tax payer in Andhra, had already developed a sizable part of the land allotted to it and provided nearly 5,000 jobs. “At the current rate they’re (Amara Raja) expected to deliver their projected employment targets in the next 5 to 7 years,” said the TDP spokesperson. “It’s a clear case of harassing a company belonging to a TDP MP.”

Opposition TDP’s president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been accusing the ruling YSR Congress government of resorting to vendetta politics and chasing away the investments from the state on the name of reverse tendering. Naidu ridiculed Jagan Mohan Reddy of failing to prove any alleged irregularities in the contracts awarded during the TDP regime, while citing the clean chits recently given by the central government on the projects like Polvaram irrigation works.

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