Telangana Congress President Revanth Reddy on Thursday met with CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal in New Delhi and demanded a probe into the 50-acre Kokapet land auction held by the ruling TRS government in July.
In its written complaint addressed to the CBI, Congress alleged that the state exchequer incurred a financial loss of at least Rs 1,000 crore because land parcels were auctioned at throwaway prices to bidders close to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his son, KT Rama Rao, who is the minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Administration.
“The Telangana government tweaked e-auction norms and helped a select group of real-estate companies which are close to the Chief Minister pocket prime properties at throwaway prices,” the letter read. They further alleged that the base price of each land parcel was set differently to suit the bidding prospects of “companies close to the Kalvakuntla family”.
“Though located in the same area, the price variation between identical plots was more than 45-50%. Rajapushka purchased plot no 2/P for Rs 60.2 Crores per acre, whereas the next plot was purchased by My Home Group for 31.2 Crores. This clearly show how the scam took place,” the letter said.
In July, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority(HMDA) had put up 8 plots (50 acres) land called ‘Neopolis’ in Kokapet for sale. The entire auction was dubbed a roaring success as the state govt had garnered a total revenue of Rs 2000.37 crore. Kokapet is an area where the state government wants to come up with a financial district comprising leading IT companies and startups, interspersed with high-end residential townships.
While state govt-monitored land auctions fall under the conventional norm to boost transparency, the Telangana Congress has raised questions on why the state government didn’t use its own portal and instead decided to engage MSTC, which has been under the scanner of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and CBI for ‘several lapses’.
The letter alleged, “The state govt allowed MSTC to collect 2 percent of the total auction amount…Considering the fact that the Telangana govt fetched 2,500 crores, the intermediaries received a commission of Rs 50 crores. If the state govt platform was used, the commission amount would have been saved”.
It further said, “MSTC didn’t reveal the names of other bidders as the entire auction was pre-planned and wasn’t conducted transparently.”
News18 has reached out to TRS for a comment. The report will be updated after an official response is issued.