Congress party is merciless in attacking its opponents. On Monday, July 24, like a bolt from the blue, Congress attacked the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s Vice Presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu and his son and daughter for corruption, nepotism, and land grabbing allegations. Within hours Naidu came out with a point by point rebuttal to the four charges alleged by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Jairam Ramesh’s charges were poorly worded, suggesting that perhaps these were framed in haste. Here are the Q and A and our analysis on this surprise move.
These are the four allegations of Congress and Venkaiah Naidu’s reply under each allegation:
Congress allegation 1: How did a Private Trust of which his daughter is the Chairman, how did that Private Trust, how did the Telangana Government, pass a secret Order allowing the Trust not to pay Rs. 2 crores of Development Charges to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority in June 2017
Venkaiah Naidu’s Reply: When this issue was raised by the media, the Government of Telangana in their rejoinder dated 23.07.2017 clarified that Swarna Bharat Trust was not the first and the last to be given such an exemption and in fact gave details of several other organizations given such exemptions, including those granted such exemption by the Congress Governments in the state. The Telangana Government has also clarified that there was nothing in the law that prevented the State Government from giving such exemptions.
Telangana Government also clarified that Swarna Bharat Trust is a non-profit organization established in the year 2001 and the buildings proposed by them are for Skill Development, Training and Provision of health care for the needy. It said that this Trust was given exemption with a view to encourage them in doing social service.
Congress allegation 2: How is it, is it true, is it not true, but the fact is that in July 2014 the Telangana Government without a tender, places an order of about Rs. 270 Crore for the purchase of Vehicles for the Telangana Police with two dealers – One dealership owned by the Chief Minister of Telangana Himanshu Motors and another dealership Harsha Toyota owned by the son of Mr. Venkaiah Naidu.
Venkaiah Naidu’s Reply: Shri Jairam Ramesh has alleged that the said dealer was given the supply order in contravention of rules and without floating a tender. I have scrupulously kept myself away from the business and other pursuits of my children. Further to Shri Ramesh raising this issue, I have ascertained the facts in this regard. The fact of the matter is that Harsha Totoya as a dealer never directly dealt with the state government in the procurement of vehicles referred to and no supply order was placed on Harsha Toyota. The parent company i.e. Toyota, offered to supply vehicles as desired by the State Government at DGS&D rates and the supply order was placed on parent company i.e. Toyota Kirloskar and payment was also made to them. As a matter of policy, DGS&D concludes the rate contract with manufacturers.
Congress allegation 3: On 6th April 2011 the Hon’ble Supreme Court Justice J. S. Singhvi and Justice S. K. Ganguly passed severe strictures and cancelled the allotment of 20 acres of prime land in Bhopal by the State Government to Kushabhau Thakre Memorial Trust of which the Chairman happens to be Shri Venkaiah Naidu.
Venkaiah Naidu’s Reply: In my capacity as the BJP National President, I was the ex-officio Chairman of this Trust and had no role in the allotment of land. Isn’t it a fact that several trusts were similarly allotted land by various governments including the Congress Governments?
Congress allegation 4: Is it not a fact that in 2002 Shri Venkaiah Naidu returned to the District Authorities in Nellore about 5 acres of land which he had in his possession which was originally earmarked for landless and poor families?
Venkaiah Naidu’s Reply: This issue was raised by the local Congressmen as early as in 2002 and even moved the courts and the charges of land grabbing were dismissed.
This goes to prove that the allegations made by Shri Jairam Ramesh are entirely false and are politically motivated as he has raised the issues which were responded to in the past. It is evident that these issues have been referred to a few days before the election to the post of Vice President of India clearly reflecting on the political motives and the mischievous intentions. This is a clear evidence of the sense of hopelessness and political bankruptcy of the Congress Party. I am a product of a political party and culture that always placed the highest premium on probity in public life and always lived by those standards.
Team PGurus Analysis:
Venkaiah Naidu was Cabinet Minister till recently, handling the powerful Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting portfolios. He was seen as a liaison man for the Government with the Opposition parties and Congress, and also handled Parliamentary Affairs. Why then did Congress come out with a Court rejected allegation of land grabbing in 2002 and a mid-2014 vehicle purchase through his son’s company? At least the vehicle purchase allegation was in the media for a long time for the past three years and Congress never raised this issue in Parliament, when Naidu was a Minister, holding powerful portfolios. This shows that the Congress wanted to give a parting kick to Naidu and wanted to sow some doubts in his mind as he is soon going to be the Vice President, a Constitutional post. This also hints the Congress attitude towards him when he is going to be the Rajya Sabha Chairperson. A desperate strategy on part of Congress to try and throw mud at the candidate and see if something sticks.
This is also a message to Venkaiah Naidu for his soft policies to towards Congress. As Urban Development Minister, Venkaiah Naidu did not act on the controversial National Herald Building worth Rs.2000 crores in New Delhi. This building was given to Associated Journal Limited (AJL) for publishing the newspaper. Every court, be it the Magistrate Court or the High Court or even the Supreme Court, has ruled as a fraud by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, in grabbing this and other properties of Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in a covert manner. Acting on the Court’s decisions on prima-facie fraud, as Urban Development Minister, Venkaiah Naidu could have easily ordered for the take over of this land. The main petitioner and colleague Subramanian Swamy had given many complaints to Venkaiah Naidu to take back this property and recommend a CBI inquiry into grabbing the leased land allotted for the AJL. But Venkaiah indulged in masterly inactivity and now gets this “present” from the Congress. This is a message to Venkaiah Naidu and other soft cornered BJP leaders. Never expect anything back from Congress. Do your duty.
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