Probe should cover Babu’s deals


Hyderabad, December 13: YSR Congress has demanded the Centre to include the name of TDP leader N Chandababu Naidu in the terms of reference of the judicial probe it has ordered into the huge amount spent by retail giant Walmart for its entry into India

“It becomes very imperative to include his name in the terms of reference as a top official of Heritage Foods, owned by his family members, had announced that they are scouting for foreign investments,” the party spokesperson Janak Prasad told reporters here on Thursday. 

The voting pattern of TDP MPs in Rajya Sabha and Chandrababu Naidu’s one-to-one meeting with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram as a precursor to the FDI issue makes us strongly believe that he has put personal interests over political ideology and could be part of the Walmart lobbying, he said. 

The Centre, which has ordered a judicial probe in to the claim of Walmart spending $ 25 million on lobbying “to enhanced market access for investment inIndia,” should also include the name of Heritage Foods, he said. 

With the top official of Heritage Foods announcing that they are looking for strategic business alliance with foreign players and TDP President and leaders meeting the Union Finance Minister show that Heritage Foods has been inclined towards FDI in retail sector, he said adding that the issue would come out only if the name Chandrababu Naidu and Heritage Foods are also included in the scope of the judicial probe, he said.

It was N Chandrababu Naidu, who changed the style of governance shifting from a welfare state to a corporate state and has been taking pride for his lobbying skills. 

Though there are some restrictions for Walmart’s direct entry into tier-2 cities, no one can stop their tie-up with companies like Heritage Foods which work for mutual benefit, he said. 

Heritage Foods which has a turnover of Rs 1,400 crores and a network of 72 branches has been looking for tie-ups with foreign companies and the TDP leader stands exposed if the probe ordered by the Centre covers his ground as well since the interests are common, he said. 

Chandrababu Naidu has the history of shutting down a profit making Chittoor Dairy to benefit his Heritage Foods and is now lobbying for foreign capital. On the political front too his stand has been dubious as he was speaking against FDI during his padayatra while his MPs skip the voting in Rajya Sabah and go scot-free.

This clearly shows that his business interests precede over political and people’s interest and it is a fit case for including in the probe of the Walmart case, he said.


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