Friday, November 6, 2009

Andhra a threat of a financial emergency -?

17 Jan 2009


 Dr Montek SIngh Ahluwalia to Prime Minister
Dr Manmohan Singh, as a visual to my special scoop story.


R Rajagopalan
New Delhi



By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy may be
in trouble for alleged land deals worth Rs 12,000 crores made to
benefit the arrested Satyam boss Ramalinga Raju, under the guise of
raising funds for a jacked-up annual plan of the state.

He was summoned to Delhi on Saturday as the Congress leadership is
worried about his Satyam connection creating problems for the party in
the upcoming Parliamentary and Assembly elections.

Vaartha is in possession of a three pages note by Dr Montek SIngh
Ahluwalia to Dr Manmohan Singh exposes the mindset of Dr YSR
on land issues.
Eyebrows were raised in the Planning Commission last April when Dr
Reddy secured clearance of the annual plan of the state for 2008-09
with a hike of 47 per cent from Rs 30,000 crores in 2007-08 to Rs
47,000, claiming to raise Rs 12,000 crores from the sale of land.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had his own
misgivings on why and how the chief minister can raise so much money
by selling the government land but cleared the hiked up annual plan
that was promise to be funded by 32 per cent increase in the state's
tax revenue.

He, however, put on record his doubts in a 3-page communication to the
Prime Minister on April 23, 2008, a copy of which is available with
this writer, that "prospects of mobilising such a large amount from
sale of land appear somewhat uncertain."

Ahluwalia also noted that the chief minister claimed that the state
had already succeeded in raising Rs 6586 crores from the land sale in
2007-08 and hence it should not be difficult for the state to get
money from further land sale to fund the plan.

Little did Ahluwalia know at that time that his lurking suspicion
about the land deal would one day turn out to be a major scam. Only
after the Satyam fraud broke out that the inquiries were made to find
that the chief minister was making the deal was for enrichment of
Ramalinga Raju who had floated Maytas for undertaking massive
construction projects.

The land deal details are believed to have reached the Congress
President who on Saturday summoned Dr Rajasekhara Reddy to Delhi,
ostensibly to discuss preparations for the ensuing Parliament and
State Assembly elections, but actually to discuss the Satyam issue
that may dog the Congress.

Sources in 10 Janpath say the Congress President's worry is that the
Chief Minister may be soft to Ramalinga Raju because of their
friendship and the deals they have struck. They said she has asked for
Dr Reddy in Delhi to give her mind and make it clear to him that the
state government must act fast before the Satyam episode erodes
credibility of the Congress.

They said there would certainly be discussions on the political
situation as well as the Congress leadership is worried about the
Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) aligning with Telugu Desam Party (TDP)
on the Telenana issue.

There are 17 Lok Sabha seats that fall in the Telengana region and
over 100 Assembly seats and as such Sonia Gandhi will have to press
the Centre for some concrete announcement or decision on Telengana
that stops the TDP-TRS combine in its tracks. She will be discussing
the issue and niceties of the decision with the chief minister, the
sources added.


No comments: