The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday demolished Praja Vedika, an Rs 10 crore convention hall built by former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu. It was built adjoining the official residence of Naidu and served as the people’s grievance cell in Amravati.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court Wednesday rejected a PIL seeking a stay on the demolition. The court said there was no reason for the dismantling to be stopped as the petitioner himself had admitted that it was an illegal structure.
Anticipating protests from TDP leaders, a large contingent of police was deployed outside the complex last night as the demolition process got underway.
— ANI (@ANI) June 25, 2019
Calling it a “shameful symbol” of how the TDP government bypassed laws and objections, Jagan said Praja Vedika would be the first illegal building to be demolished and made it clear that no illegal buildings should be constructed on the river bank.
After a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, Naidu had written to Jagan on June 5 requesting to allow him to use the building by considering it as an extension of his official residence. Naidu said he would like to use the building to meet his party workers and people.
While there was no initial response, it was last Saturday that the state government decided to take over the complex while Naidu was holidaying in Europe. On Monday, the Chief Minister made a formal announcement in this regard.
Several political leaders and activists had appealed to Jagan asking him not to demolish the complex which was built using public money. “I am of the opinion that since Praja Vedika has been built with public money, it should be used for public purposes by the government. Demolishing it would mean wasting Rs 8.90 crores of the tax-payers money,” state BJP chief Kanna Laxminarayana said.
Jana Sena Party supremo K Pavan Kalyan said he had no objection if the building was demolished if it was harming the environment. However, he added, if Praja Vedika was demolished, then similar buildings should be demolished instead of singling out just of them.