During his rule as the CM of the new AP after the bifurcation of the state, Chandrababu Naidu became synonyms with scams. He allowed corruption to thrive in the state and in the name of development allotted land and resources to companies that offered him kickbacks. One such scam was the Franklin Templeton Scam. Chandrababu Naidu was deeply involved in it.
Under the leadership of Naidu, the TDP govt gave away some 40-acres of high-valueland to Franklin Templeton Investments(FTI) in Visakhapatnam at a petty price. The land was worth Rs. 400 crores but the company got it at just Rs. 13 crores. This was only possible because the Naidu govt broke all the rules or land allocations to assign the land to the FTI. He ignored the warning and heeds of the AP IndustrialInvestment Corporation (APIIC) and went ahead with the price and the quantum of land allocated to the company. This whole transaction was a big scam and the Naidu personally gained from it. Who is 420 in AP? You can decide after knowing the details of the transaction between the Naidu gov and the Franklin Templeton.
How Franklin Templeton Got to AP
After his visit to San Francisco, Chandrababu Naidu had invited Franklin Templeton to invest in the state. It is a financial service company with it headquarter in San Francisco. A visit to the company’s headquarters was fruitful for Naidu and he promised to provide the company with 100-acre land in the coastal area. He initially allocated 40 acres of land from the APIIC to the Franklin Templeton company.
The APIIC had raised several objections to this whole transaction, especially on the size of the land. It had suggested since the company headquarter was within 10 acres of land, it should be allocated the same in AP. If needed, the size of the land can be increased in the future. Additionally, the industrial body was not happy with the throwaway price at which the land was being allocated. The market price of the land was Rs.10.16 crore but the govt was giving it away at a low price of Rs. 2.70 crore. The govt didn’t pay any attention to this and went ahead with allocation.
The Naidu govt didn’t consider the financial burden it would put the state in. No doubt he was looking for some kickbacks in this transaction too. Giving high-value land at a throwaway price didn’t do any good to the state. Who is 420 in AP? That’s not a tough question to answer.
In its defense, the govt said that the project will bring home 2,500 high-end jobs. With this in mind, the govt also allowed the company to use 30% for commercial purposes.
FTI Got a Creamy Deal
Franklin Templeton enjoyed many perks from the deal. The Naidu govt again went out of its way to make the deal better for the FTI in many ways. For instance, the price difference was beneficial to the FTI, but not for the state. It put strain on the state treasury once again.
The next thing is that the govt relaxed the rule by increasing the implementation of the project time from 2 years to 7 years. Furthermore, the state govt changed the status of the land from lease to sale in no time. The standard rule is that the land is handed over to the company after the project is initiated or has reached a level of completion. This didn’t happen with Franklin Templeton. The govt gave the land to the company right away even before the project started.
One of the reasons why the Govt went out on limb to please the company was that it was set to gain some kickbacks. This is nothing new as Naidu govt had the history of doing deals at the cost of state to gain some kickbacks. You can now decide who is 420 in AP in reality.
Franklin Templeton had a Shady History
The Naidu govt gave the company lands at a throwaway price, extended the project time and even gave the land before the project was started. Naidu had promised the project will bring more jobs to the state. But the Franklin Templeton company has a shady history of not completing the job or proving employment.
The company had earlier promised jobs while taking land in Hyderabad, but nothing of sort happened. The deal was already on a shaky ground and the govt by taking such risk was only putting the state in financial crisis. Making a deal with a company that hasn’t done what it had promised, the Naidu govt had compromised.
No doubt, personal gains were one of the reasons why Chandrababu Naidu allocate land to companies at lowest price, and provided them with additional benefits.
This deal was a complete dud and Chandrababu Naidu was responsible for it. He had made many such deals in the past too and this turned out to be a scam as well. This is the reason why people keep asking who is 420 in AP and the answer is always Chandrababu Naidu.
During his rule. He had nothing but bring corruption and scams to state. He had put the state in grave financial danger by handing over lands at throwaway price and going against the logic. Its not that tough to decide who is 420 in AP when you look at the deals the Naidu govt had done from 2014 to 2019 where it lost the election due to corruption.
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