ANDHRA PRADESH

Lease issue snowballs into controversy in A.P.

Special Correspondent

Breach of Constitutional oath and abuse of power, says TDP

HYDERABAD: The Telugu Desam party has charged Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy with breach of Constitutional oath and abuse of power by `gifting away' Government land through lease for limestone mining to companies in which his son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy was a director.

In a memorandum submitted to Governor Rameshwar Thakur on Thursday, party leaders sought dismissal of the Government as both Chief Minister and Mines Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy had breached the oath on discharge of their duties. They alleged that Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy's company Raghuram Cements was blatantly favoured and granted mining lease on 2,037 acres of limestone after cancelling the one allotted to Gujarat Ambuja Cements on the ruse that the latter had not set up the plant within the stipulated period. The truth was that the lease was granted to Raghuram Cements on March 27, 2006, even as Ambuja Cements' petition against the cancellation was pending with the Centre.

The Government as well as the Congress have termed `malicious' and `false,' the TDP's campaign against the Chief Minister on the issue.

Talking to presspersons separately, the Mines Minister and APCC spokesperson N. Tulasi Reddy said the TDP was attempting to subvert the development of Rayalaseema region by raking up a controversy. The TDP's claim that the company was given the lease because Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy was one of the directors was also false. Mr. Reddy joined the board on December 1, 2006, well after the company received the mining lease.