The CBI has opposed bail for former Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao who was arrested in the Vanpic issue on the ground that he facilitated the developer Nimmagadda Prasad to corner the project though he did not have past experience in handling infrastructure projects.
Mr. Rao also obtained the approval of the Cabinet by deception by placing before it the concession agreement which allowed the Prasad-owned company to divest its responsibility of developing the project in favour of a private firm that eventually took 65 per cent stake. Thus, Nimmagadda Prasad earned the project and illegally disposed of the reins to another company by deceitful means, the CBI stated in its counter affidavit to Mr. Rao’s bail application.
The investigating agency added that Nimmagadda Prasad’s company was not privy to contract with the State government as it was originally won by the government of Ras Al Khaima of UAE. The company did not have any obligation either to develop the project or share its revenues.
Mr. Rao aided Nimmagadda Prasad in getting the project by MoU method as the latter could not participate in open competitive bidding due to lack of experience. To overcome this infirmity, Nimmagadda Prasad circumvented the process of allocation of work which Mr. Rao accepted. It left little scope for transparency in execution of the project.
The Infrastructure and Investment Department headed by Mr. Rao approved the draft notification for acquisition of patta land over 5,404 acres though the Cabinet approved only 4,000 acres for the project.