Andhra Pradesh

Transport Minister invites Naidu for debate on corruption during TDP term

He gives details of circumstances that led to arrest of J.C. Prabhakar Reddy

Transport and I&PR Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) has invited TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu for an open debate on the “corruption and other malpractices” during the TDP term from 2014 to 2019 and the agitations being staged by the opposition party leaders criticising the booking of cases against MLA K. Atchannaidu and former MLA J.C. Prabhakar Reddy.

Addressing the media in Hyderabad on Saturday, Mr. Venkataramaiah gave details of the circumstances that led to the filing of cases and arrest of Mr. Prabhakar Reddy.

Modus operandi

The Minister said the Jatadhara Industries Private Limited and the C. Gopal Reddy & Company had bought 154 chassis and engines of BS-III lorry-trailers in 2018 from Ashok Leyland as scrap and registered them as BS-IV vehicles at Kohima in Nagaland by producing fake invoice and insurance documents.

The Transport Department, in the last one week, found that 98 vehicles did not have insurance and were plying with fake insurance certificates, putting the lives of people to danger, he said. Four such chassis purchased as scrap were converted into buses and being operated in Anantapur under the Diwakar Travels banner, the Minister said.

‘Norms flouted’

“For the sake of earning money, these TDP leaders are putting the lives of people to risk, besides polluting the environment by flouting the Supreme Court directive not to register BS-III vehicles after March 31, 2017,” he alleged.

“We are also enquiring as to how Ashok Leyland could sell so many vehicles in one piece and, depending on the outcome of police investigation, the company authorities will also be summoned to clarify the matter,” the Minister said.

Out of the 154 vehicles bought, 104 were registered by the C. Gopal Reddy & Co. and 50 by the Jatadhara Industries Private Limited, for which J.C. Uma Reddy (wife of Mr. Prabhakar Reddy) and J. Ashmit Reddy (Mr. Prabhakar’s son) were directors.

The Transport Department seized 62 vehicles so far and, of them, 59 were being run as lorry-trailers and three as buses. The registration of 90 vehicles had been cancelled, the Minister said.

“Action will be initiated against any Transport Department official if they are found guilty of complicity in the entire affair,” Mr. Venkataramaiah warned.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:43:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/transport-minister-invites-naidu-for-debate-on-corruption-during-tdp-term/article31823871.ece

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