Obsessed with vaastu, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has decided to shift the existing secretariat at Tank Bund to Erragadda, 11 km away. KCR feels that the existing secretariat buildings are “jinxed” as they are not compliant with vaastu and, therefore, whoever occupies the CM’s seat faces hurdles. Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu has also become very vaastu-sensitive lately, and the new capital at Thulluru, near Vijayawada, is being built with a lot of consideration to vaastu.
KCR strongly believes in vaastu and had made a slew of changes when Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) came to power last May, to make his reign a smooth one. First, he got registration numbers of all vehicles in his convoy changed to ‘6666’ as he considers 6 his lucky number. Last September, the six black SUVs in his convoy were painted white as astrologers told him that black is inauspicious to his zodiac.
KCR also got several changes made to the official CM’s residence suit vaastu, but is still learnt to be unhappy and may shift to another location later. Due to security considerations, KCR is unable to live in his own bungalow in Banjara Hills.
“The CM is of the opinion that undivided Andhra Pradesh faced lots of problems, including bifurcation of the state, due to poor vaastu of the secretariat. Many CMs could not complete their terms and were beset with problems. He feels Telangana should not face the same vexation,’’ a source said.
The Telangana government has allocated Rs 150 crores to build the new secretariat in Erragadda at a site where the Government TB and Chest Diseases Hospital is located. To make way for the new secretariat, the nearly 100-year-old heritage Nizam-era building, which houses the hospital, will be demolished as neglect has resulted in its decay.
Insiders say that KCR is at present troubled by the thoughts of misfortune that many Chief Ministers faced while ruling from the existing secretariat. TDP’s N T Rama Rao, who became CM in 1983, was dethroned by his son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu nine months in his third term in 1995, who, in turn, suffered a shocking defeat in 2004 to Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. After completing his first term, YSR died in a helicopter crash 3 months into his second stint in 2009. YSR’s successor K Rosaiah struggled for 14 months with Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy breathing down his neck, and unable to cope with the pressure, he resigned. His successor N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s rule was riddled with allegations of corruption and a vigorous Telangana agitation which resulted in bifurcation of the state. KCR feels that these events occurred due to vaastu defects in the existing secretariat which is shared with Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana Congress leaders have criticised KCR for “making vaastu a government policy’’, and accused him of planning to sell the secretariat land to land mafia. “Sixteen CMs and their governments functioned from this secretariat and they never felt anything wrong with it… If he feels there is some vaastu defect, he must get the necessary changes made, but what is the logic in shifting the entire secretariat?” Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir said. BJP leader G Kishan Reddy feels that at a time when there are more pressing issues, the government wants to spend so much money on building a new secretariat.
The existing secretariat was originally the Saifabad Palace of the sixth Nizam built in 1888, but most of those original structures were demolished and new buildings were constructed when N T Rama Rao took over. It appears KCR is convinced that if he and Telangana do not have to face hurdles, the secretariat has to be shifted to the new location where there are no vaastu defects.