Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has spent about Rs 16 crore on the camp office and residence of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, including doors and windows worth Rs 73 lakh. A grant of Rs 73 lakh was also approved for installation of aluminium windows and doors at Reddy's residence.
Reddy was sworn in as chief minister on May 30. Within a month, a government order (GO) was issued on June 25 for roads to be widened at his residence at Tadepalli village near Vijayawada and Rs 5 crore was approved for the work. The very next day, another order was issued for ensuring security arrangements, such as barricading, guard room, police barrack, security posts and construction of a helipad, at an estimated amount of Rs 1.895 lakh.
On July 9, another order released Rs 8.5 lakh for maintenance of electrical services, while on July 22, the government accorded Rs 24.5 lakh for providing security arrangements at Reddy's Hyderabad residence.
For the construction of ‘Praja Vedika’, a public grievances hall, Rs 2.5 lakh were sanctioned on August 20. Notably, it was in June that a conference hall built by Reddy's predecessor and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu at a cost of Rs 8 crore was razed on the orders of the state government, which deemed it "illegal".
The expenditure, coupled with some others, amounts to Rs 15.79 crore. This, despite the fact that Reddy's residence and camp office are new buildings and their house-warming was held in February.
The row comes amid increased criticism of Reddy over renaming the schemes of the previous government after his father YS Rajashekhara Reddy and painting a village secretariat building in the colours of his party YSR Congress.
The bills have given ammunition to the opposition Telugu Desam Party, with Chandrababu Naidu calling it a "super expensive view at the expense of state exchequer".
.@ysjagan’s Govt has allotted a whopping Rs. 73 LAKHS to fix WINDOWS for his house! Now that’s one super expensive view at the expense of State exchequer! This comes at a time when AP is grappling with fiscal mess caused by mismanagement in the last 5 months. Truly cringe-worthy! pic.twitter.com/ABz5Vva2FB— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) November 6, 2019
Naidu's son Nara Lokesh also accused Jagan of hypocrisy as "he says he takes home Re 1 as salary".
Later on Thursday, the YSR Congress hit out at Naidu for questioning the money spent on Reddy's residence. State Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah alleged that over Rs 99 crore was spent from the government coffers for Naidu's needs when he was at the helm during 2014-19.
"If Rs 73 lakh expenditure, for windows fixed for security purposes, is super expensive, what should the Rs 5 lakh spending on shifting a UPS from one floor to the other inside his (Naidu's) house be called? Is it not a criminal waste of people's money?" asked Venkataramaiah.
Another Rs 3 lakh was spent on improving lawn lighting and environmental lighting at Naidu's leased residence, he alleged.
Naidu's family stayed in a plush multi-star hotel for several months when their house in Hyderabad was being rebuilt. Crores of rupees of government money was spent on their stay, claimed the minister. Like no other chief minister in the country, Naidu maintained three offices and three camp offices (residences) in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Amaravati, and crores from government coffers were spent on readying and maintaining them for five years, he added.