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Controversy on Yellampalli snowballs

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Special Correspondent

Government seeks criminal action against Telugu Desam Party leaders

Opposition party leaders accused of submitting fabricated documents to SpeakerCopy of complaint sent to Legislature SecretaryAnother sign of Government's intolerance, says Goud

HYDERABAD: The Government on Saturday lodged a complaint with the police seeking criminal action against some Telugu Desam leaders for submitting fabricated documents on the Yellampalli controversy to the Assembly Speaker during the recent budget session.

On behalf of the Government, Principal Secretary, Irrigation, C. V. S. K. Sarma, sent a written complaint through a messenger to Director-General of Police Swaranjit Sen. A copy of the complaint was also sent to the Secretary, Legislature, requesting him to get the Speaker's permission to take action against the Telugu Desam MLAs.

These MLAs, the complaint said, had raised the matter through a question in the Assembly with a view to causing damage to the reputation of the Government.

`Bid to defame State'

Alleging that pages 6, 11 and 21 of the 35-page document submitted to the Speaker by a Telugu Desam MLA were fabricated, the Principal Secretary said the TDP had thus misled not only the House but also the public in order to defame the Government.

The Government's fresh action has opened up the controversy which had died down after taking several twists and turns. Reacting sharply to the Government's action, the deputy leader of Telugu Desam Legislature Party T. Devender Goud said it was yet another instance of the Government's increasing intolerance. It apparently wanted to cover its misdeeds in Yellampalli, he said.

Explaining the details, Mr. Sarma said the ayacut of Yellampalli, though planned for 4.7 lakh acres, was changed to 1.36 lakh acres. Accordingly,the Superintending Engineer, Mancherial, called for tenders to implement the project for Rs 935 crores through EPC mode. Following representations, the ayacut was increased later to 2 lakh acres.

The SE proposed a project cost of Rs 1,757 crores but uploaded an amount of Rs 1,344 crores as the internal benchmark value in violation of e-procurement procedure. The figure, however, was corrected to Rs 1,757 crores later.

The Principal Secretary said the Government had accorded administrative approval for a cost of Rs 1,688 crores after careful scrutiny in the light of the apprehensions from some quarters.

A Telugu Desam MLA released some papers to the press after raising the issue in the Assembly. The 35-page document was submitted later after the Speaker allowed a short debate on the issue.

We will prove it: Nagam

Meanwhile, TDP MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy has welcomed the criminal case against his party MLAs.

Mr. Janardhan Reddy told reporters that they would fight it out and prove the corruption in the project. They were not afraid of prosecution.

He also demanded production of original documents pertaining to the project before the Speaker. They would peruse them and prove the scandal.

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