In a crackdown against his predecessor, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Jagan Mohan Reddy has called for legal action against the former chief minister of the state Chandrababu Naidu.
On Wednesday the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh ordered a probe into alleged corruption in power purchase agreements signed by the previous TDP government.
Jagan, who held a high-level review meeting on the power sector, said there was "massive corruption" in the purchase of power and also in the setting up of new generating stations in the last five years that pushed the electricity sector in the state into the red.
Who purchased power at high prices and who decided to do so? Will peoples money be looted in such a brazen manner? Conduct an inquiry and take legal action against all those involved, including the then Chief Minister and the then energy minister, he said, according to an official release.
He also announced a Cabinet Sub-Committee would be set up to probe various scandals in over 30 issues under the Chandrababu Naidu regime.
"The power sector in the state is in a totally sinking stage because of the massive corruption in power purchase agreements and steep escalation of costs in setting up new generating stations. The sector is steeped in deep losses because of this," it quoted the Chief Minister as saying.
On the other hand, the state government owed Rs 10,400 crore to the Discoms, Jagan said.
He pointed out that the Discoms suffered a loss of Rs 2,636 crore in the last three years on the purchase of solar and wind power.
Instead of buying power as per the merit order, the TDP government altered rules indiscriminately and purchased on a must-run condition at higher prices from solar and wind power producers. Between 2015 and 2018, wind power was bought at Rs.4.83-4.84 a unit and solar power at Rs 4.50 to Rs 6.80 per unit, he said.
The Chief Minister questioned the need for buying at higher prices from solar and wind power producers when the governments own generating stations offered electricity at Rs 3.25 per unit.
He also said a committee would be constituted to re-negotiate the PPAs with solar and wind power producers and get the rates reduced. The agreements be cancelled if the power producers did not fall in line, he suggested.
Leaving no respite for Naidu, a day before the 'Praja Vedika' building constructed next to the residence of the former chief minister by the previous TDP government was taken down on orders of Reddy.
The Amaravati building that was torn down to dust by 80 workers, was constructed using the tax payer's money during the TDP government to undertake both party and government activities. In this demolition politics of the state, wherein the TDP is accusing Reddy of political vendetta, it is speculated that Chandrababu Naidu's residence will be next in line to be brought down, along with with other illegal infrastructures along the locality.
The building constructed by the previous chief minister cost about 5 crore rupees, however, Reddy valued it for 8.2 crores at the particular location. This is the first building that is being demolished by the new Andhra Pradesh government.
Since taking charge, Reddy had revamped many of Naidu's policies by renaming various schemes and policies of the previous TDP government. He also made a strong pitch to the Centre for Special Category Status (SCS) to be given to his state at the meeting of the fifth governing council of NITI Aayog on June 18, slamming the previous Naidu government for depriving the state through institutionalised corruption with unemployment being a stagnant issue with no possible way out.
Chandrababu Naidu's TDP suffered massive loss at the hands of Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which got the absolute majority in 175-member Assembly by winning 151 seats. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections too, YSRCP bagged 22 seats while the TDP got just three seats.
(With PTI inputs)