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Naidu seeks CBI probe into tender process

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, DEC. 8. The Leader of the Opposition and TDP president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, demanded an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a judicial commission into the tender process for the irrigation projects in the Assembly on Wednesday.

His demand came at the end of his three-hour-long speech, marred by acrimonious exchanges between Congress and Telugu Desam members. He came up with three other demands.

These were placing of all files relating to project estimates, tenders invitation, process and finalisation for Category I and II before the Speaker for perusal by all political parties, independent high power technical committee for investigation of the entire tender finalisation.

Mr. Naidu also wanted the Government to go in appeal to the Supreme Court against the latest Andhra Pradesh High Court orders allowing the nine contractors to go ahead with the allotted 21 packages. Amid noisy protests and derisive remarks from treasury benches, he accused the Congress Government of coming up with grandiose irrigation projects with the intention of swindling public money in connivance with the contractors. "The Chief Minister should prove his innocence by approaching the Supreme Court against the High Court as it has given relief to the contractors."

Stalled

Focussing his attack on the Chief Minister, he said all through it was the CMO that was ensuring that the nine contractors, "navagrahas", benefited. In the Category I packages estimated at Rs. 5000 crores, the contractors would have benefited by Rs. 1300 crores, he said. TDP members stalled the proceedings, demanding that the discussion on the tender process be taken up immediately.

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