Sushil Kumar Shinde owns a power project in Andhra

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s reluctance to act on the Telangana statehood issue looks like a clear case of political quid pro quo.

In a disturbing revelation, we now know that Sushil Kumar Shinde owns considerable stake in Alpha Power Project being set up in Komarada in Vizianagaram district. NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde are supposedly the main partners in this project.

It is an open secret that the Seemandhra business-politician lobby has mastered the art of ‘managing’ Congress party’s bigwigs. So popular are the ‘packages’ offered by Seemandhra lobby that Delhi-based journos say that there is a virtual stampede in New Delhi when the Congress party decides who will be the party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh.

The Seemandhra lobby’s influence can be understood by the reluctance of Congress party to move ahead on Telangana statehood issue from past 3 years.

The recent controversy over a letter purportedly written by Union Minister Kishore Chandra Deo has resulted in a lot of infighting in Congress. And that letter controversy has now blown the lid over the actual owners of Alpha Power Project in Komarada. The proposed power plant is coming up on 1675 acres of land with an expected investment of 11,838 Crores.

Local farmers are severely resisting the proposed power plant as the whole area would be affected by the pollution caused by the plant. The power project not only falls in the tribal sub-plan area, but also overlaps with the ayacut of Vanakabaadi Gedda reservoir which is under construction. The beneficiaries of this ayacut are adivasis and SCs and the small irrigation project was set up to provide water for nearly 1100 acres. What’s more, the project site is situated very close to Janjhavati and Nagavali Rivers. Both the rivers would get severely affected by the power project’s pollution.

Some Seemandhra politicians are now apparently offering help in overcoming the local resistance to Shinde’s power project. This cosy relationship with Seemandhra politicians could be the main reason behind Shinde’s nonchalant attitude towards the Telangana statehood issue.

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