The Bharatiya Janata Party has raised objections against the Andhra Pradesh government’s plans to sell a few lands in Visakhapatnam and Guntur under the ‘Build AP’ mission. Protesting the same, BJP MLC PVN Madhav, along with his party members, assembled at the District Training Centre, Jodugulla Palem, on Wednesday morning and raised slogans of ‘Vizag Not for Sale’.
Speaking to Yo! Vizag about the protest, PVN Madhav said, “The State Government is planning to sell nine packages in prime locations of Guntur and Vizag under the ‘Build AP’ mission. The proceedings of the sales will go towards funding Nava Ratnalu. We believe this is completely unproductive, since the land rates will only go up in the future. The sale would be viable only if the funds raised are invested into more yielding projects.”
The BJP leader also alleged that selling lands amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis would lead to “distress sales”. Questioning the government’s motto behind selling these lands during the crisis, he said, “One of the lands they’re planning to sell in Vizag is at Jodugulla Palem. The spot is at a prime locale in the city, close to Kailasagiri and beach. Given the potential this location holds, there is a possibility that the land might be encroached. Instead of selling the land away, the government should plan to utilise it for the benefit of the state. Also, considering the financial difficulties that are prevalent now, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the lands reap meagre amounts in sale. The scheme is more of ‘Destroy AP’ than Build AP.”
Claiming that the current YSRCP government is looking to provide “freebies” to people from debts, and not by generating revenue, PVN Madhav said, “While Nava Ratnalu are intiatives that must continue, they must be funded from the government’s revenue and not debts. Also, there’s a scarcity of government lands across the state. And given that the current government is looking to make Vizag the executive capital, land at a prime location will always be key for development. We are prepared to take ‘Vizag not for sale’ forward as a large-scale agitation if the government doesn’t reconsider its decision.”
The BJP, along with other opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh, has also been a vocal critic of the TTD’s proposal to auction 50 immovable properties of Lord Venkateswara. Speaking in this regard, MLC PVN Madhav said, “If people wanted to donate money to the temple, they would have done it. But the reason behind donating lands specifically is that devotees want spiritual activities to continue in their properties, even long after they’re gone. If the TTD claims that these properties aren’t viable, proper reports proving their claims must be produced.” Further, the MLC stated that all endowment lands must be protected from any kind of encroachment, except for purposes of national and public interest.