With the new government going for reverse tendering on irrigation projects alleging massive corruption by the previous Telugu Desam Party government, the contractors seem to be prevailing upon the Central government to mount pressure on the State. The principal contractor in the state, handling the prestigious Polavaram Project, had approached the High Court too seeking its intervention to stop the government going for fresh tenders.
The contractors have their strong roots in politics. The ruling parties have greater connections with the contractors, or rather several leaders who are in the ruling parties are either contractors by profession or have partnership with the major contract companies. Over the years, Navayuga Group in Andhra Pradesh had made inroads deeper into the Bharatiya Janata Party at the national level and the Telugu Desam Party in the State. There are some Union ministers or former ministers in the BJP who have either director or indirect connections with Navayuga Group.
Now, with the State government withdrawing Navayuga from the Polavaram contract and issuing fresh notification for the project balance works including the hydel component, the Navayuga is moving earth and heaven to stop the State government. In fact, chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy had hinted at the pressures being mounted on him to withdraw his plans of reverse tendering. However, as the State went ahead and issued fresh notification, the cash-rich contractors seem to have prevailed upon the Central government to go for a review of the State’s decision. The Central government had directed Polavaram Project Authority to give a report on the State government’s decision and this news had hit the headlines in Andhra Pradesh for the day.
The government had given a chance to the Navayuga group to participate in the fresh tenders too, but the firm seems to be unwilling for another round of tenders. It is like a bird in hand than the two in the bush for the Navayuga. Accepting fresh tenders and joining bidding places Navayuga in uncertainty as there would be other players who might walk away with the contract. It is for this reason, the Navayuga is influencing everyone in the government for political intervention besides seeking legal intervention.