Naidu hits back on Congress allegations, terms it 'false and politically motivated'

| Updated: Jul 25, 2017 04:35 IST

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): National Democratic Alliance (NDA) vice-presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday hit back at the Congress Party's allegations about his property and said the allegations are 'entirely false and politically motivated'. Naidu's reaction came after Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh raised a question about Naidu's accumulation of properties and asserted that he should come clean about all of them. "The allegations are entirely false and are politically motivated as he has raised the issues which were responded to in the past. This is a clear evidence of the sense of hopelessness and political bankruptcy of the Congress Party," Naidu said. He further said the issue has been raised a few days before the Vice Presidential election reflects the mischievous intentions of the Congress Party. Earlier in the day, the while addressing a press conference, Ramesh first referred to 'secret order', and said, "On June 20, 2017, the Telangana government issued an order in which the trust was exempted from a development charge of more than Rs.2 crore, which had to be paid to the Hyderabad Development Authority. A secret exemption order was issued, whose information is not available on the website." Replying on this, Naidu said the Telangana Government had already made clarification on the Swarna Bharat Trust and had stated that it was not the first and the last to get exemption from paying development charges. "In fact, the Telangana Government gave details of several other organizations that have been given such exemption including exemptions granted by the Congress Governments in the state," Naidu said. He added the Telangana Government had also clarified that there was nothing in law that prevented the state government from giving such exemption. "Telangana Government also clarified that Swarna Bharat Trust is a non-profit organization established in the year 2001 and its buildings 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 it in doing social service," he added. The trust's managing trustee is Naidu's daughter Deepa Venkat. Ramesh further questioned Naidu on the Telangana Government's order of 4,000 motor vehicles worth Rs.270 crores, being given to his son Harshvardhan Naidu, without an open tender release. "On July 2014, the Telangana government gave an order to two dealers without any open tender release. One dealer was Himanshu Motor, whose owner is the state CM's son and the other dealer is Harsha Toyota, whose owner is Naidu's son", Ramesh said. Answering this charge, the vice-presidential nominee said the Harsha Totoya never directly dealt with the state government in the procurement of vehicles. "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," he said. Ramesh also accused Naidu of keeping a land, meant for the landless and poor in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore. "Is it not true that on August 7 2002, Venkaiah Naidu had to return a land of five acres in Nellore district? He had to return the land to the district administration, as it was for the landless", he said. Naidu had got the land in 1978 when he was a MLA. While replying the charge, Naidu said he 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?" he asked. Naidu said the land issue of Andhra Pradesh's Nellore, raised by Ramesh was also raised in 2002 but was dismissed by the court. (ANI)