16-07-201916-07-2019 11:49:35 IST
2019-07-16T06:19:35.067Z16-07-2019 2019-07-16T06:19:27.174Z - - 10-04-2020
The credit war between the YSRCP and the TDP in Andhra Pradesh Assembly has now extended to the KIA Motors automobile factory in Ananthapur. Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy sparked off an interesting debate on the issue on Monday when he claimed in the House that the global automobile giant set up its manufacturing unit in the state based on a request made by the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy when he was the chief minister.
The TDP quickly mocked the finance minister and claimed that the entry of KIA into AP became possible only because of the efforts of Chandrababu Naidu during the previous government and the incentives doled out by him. While everyone thought the minister was completely caught on the wrong foot, Rajendranath brandished a letter in defence of his claims. According to the minister, the letter, which he read out in the House, was written by KIA Motors Corporation President and CEO Han Wu Park to Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
The gist of the missive conveys the KIA top official’s greetings to Jagan on his massive victory at the recent hustings. Wu Park also goes back in memory to the days of YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s rule in 2007 when the latter requested him to invest in Andhra Pradesh. The KIA CEO goes on to inform Jagan that his late father played the catalyst in their decision to set up a manufacturing unit in Ananthapur.
Clearly, Rajendranath Reddy has done his homework well even as the letter he flaunted took the TDP completely by surprise. With this move, the YSRCP successfully ensured that late YSR’s name also jostled for space in claiming credit over KIA plant. But, if you think it all ends with just two stakeholders, then you are wrong.
In the months leading up to the elections in the state, the BJP too claimed credit for it when Chandrababu Naidu was going full throttle to have it entirely in his kitty. Unable to stomach Naidu’s attempts to present a few prototypes reportedly manufactured elsewhere as those assembled in KIA’s Ananthapur plant, state leaders of the saffron party came down heavily on it. On one of those occasions, they claimed that KIA came to Andhra Pradesh due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts during his visit to Korea. They went on to say that Modi also had to intervene again at a subsequent stage to save the blushes for the state government. This, according to them, was when the KIA Motors developed cold feet, unable to deal with the alleged massive-scale corruption at the local level that hindered the establishment process at every stage.
Unless someone else jumps into it in future, the KIA story in India has three strong contenders to claim the credit. None of the three parties is however inclined to go in detail into the exact benefits for Andhra Pradesh from this plant, both in the short term and long term.
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