Special Correspondent

Says another automotive company will set up unit in State

  • Opposition parties blame Government for fiasco
  • Naidu seeks white paper on steps to recover 12 crores

    HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Sunday made light of the reports of Volkswagen's decision to set up its car project in Maharashtra saying another one would come to the State.

    Reacting to the development, Dr. Reddy told reporters here on Sunday that for the last two to three months, the Government was getting signals about such a move. "Even if Volkswagen pulls out, we are confident that another automotive company will come forward to set up its unit in Andhra Pradesh," he added.

    Volkswagen in a statement announced the setting up of the Rs. 1350-crore car-making unit at Chakam near Pune, citing its economic environment, good logistic links and a strongly established supplier structure.

    Botsa's claim

    At a separate press conference, Marketing Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, who handled the Major Industries portfolio when the Government signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German car manufacturer, claimed that the company had not made up its mind yet.

    Mr. Satyanarayana, whose wife Botsa Jhansi is contesting the Bobilli parliamentary seat in the by-election, charged a section of the media with deliberately playing up the report to mar the chances of the Congress candidate.

    On the other hand, the Opposition blamed the Government's "incompetence and corruption" for Volkswagen going to another state. Posing 28 questions on the Volkswagen affair, Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu demanded a white paper detailing what steps the Government had taken, either to get back the Rs. 12 crores paid to some `middlemen' or legal action again those involved.

    Mr. Naidu regretted that instead of pulling up Mr. Satyanarayana (who earlier handled Major Industries), the Chief Minister had handed out sops to his family. His wife was made Zilla Parishad chairperson and now given a ticket to contest the Bobbili Lok Sabha seat.

    CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu said that the corruption charges that were being levelled against the Government were forcing companies to look for alternatives. CPI State secretary K. Narayana said that the company's decision to locate its unit in Pune was reflective of the inefficient way in which the Government had handled the issue.

    State BJP president B.Dattatreya blamed the Chief Minister for the German company's decision and demanded a judicial enquiry into the matter.

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