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HomeDaily ReadsAndhra Govt Mortgaged Secretariat Building To HDFC Bank For ₹370 Crore? Here’s...

Andhra Govt Mortgaged Secretariat Building To HDFC Bank For ₹370 Crore? Here’s What We Know

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Ahead of the state polls, an article by Telugu daily Andhra Jyothy has created a political uproar in Andhra Pradesh. In a report, the outlet claimed that the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-government had taken a loan worth Rs 370 crore from the HDFC bank by mortgaging the state secretariat buildings in Amaravati.

The report claimed that the government had first approached the ICICI bank for a loan. However, the bank had denied the same. Following which they reached out to the HDFC bank, adding, “HDFC Bank officials clarified that if the secretariat buildings are registered as collateral, they will allocate half of the total construction cost as a loan. With this… the secretariat buildings have been registered as mortgages to HDFC without any fuss. (translated from Telugu via Google)”

Former Andhra CM and TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu and other opposition leaders were quick to lash out at Reddy and the ruling YSRCP for allegedly pledging the secretariat.

In an X post, Naidu said, “What a shame for the state…how sad…what a shame Jagan Reddy! Is the State Secretariat, which is the heart of the government administration system, mortgaged and raised debt?Does this Chief Minister know what it means to mortgage the building where the Chief Minister of the state sits, the administrative centre of the state for ₹370 crores? You have pledged not only the buildings….the self-esteem of the Telugu people. You have destroyed the excellent brand of Andhra Pradesh! People…think what we are losing under an incompetent, arrogant, destructive regime! (translated by Google)”

Screengrab from X post by @ncbn

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Who Said What?

A report by The New Indian Express, dated March 4, 2024 on the allegations by Naidu, stated that Andhra Minister for Water Resources and YSRCP leader Ambati Rambabu said that the allegations were the “imagination of TDP’s friendly media.”

It quoted Rambabu as saying, “It is purely an attempt to divert the attention, and project as if something grave is happening, when no such thing has happened in reality. The people are well aware of such tactics of TDP and will not believe such false propaganda. After the fourth Siddham meeting of the YSRC, the TDP will not have an address in Andhra Pradesh.”

Completely Untrue: APCRDA On Reports Of Mortgage

A report by Telugu Global, dated March 4, 2024, stated that the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (AP CRDA) has refuted the claim that the government has mortgaged the buildings in secretariat to HDFC bank. 

Screengrab from Telugu Global website

The report stated that the APCRDA alleged that the Andhra Jyothy report was  “completely untrue.” Adding “It has clarified that no such proposal has come to them from the State General Administration Department. APCRDA said that the report by Andhra Jyoti that five buildings of the state secretariat have been mortgaged to HDFC is completely false. Accounts Director B. Srinivasa Rao clarified that APCRDA has not taken any loans from ICICI and HDFC banks. (translated from Telugu via Google)”

It added that the authority will also file a complaint with the Press Council of India against Andhra Jyothy for publishing false and baseless news.

The APCRDA also shared a release on their X handle calling out Andhra Jyothy for alleged fake news on secretariat buildings being mortgaged.

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Totally Inaccurate: HDFC Denies Claim

We found a report by Sakshi, dated March 5, 2024, stating that the  HDFC Bank has denied the news of state secretariat buildings being used as a collateral for a Rs 370 crore loan.

Further, in response to multiple X posts on the alleged mortgage of Andhra Pradesh secretariat buildings, the HDFC Bank spokesperson claimed, “This refers to media stories stating that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has mortgaged the State Government Secretariat building with HDFC Bank for availing a loan of Rs 370 Crore. We would like to state on record that this information is totally inaccurate and misleading. We request you to take note and carry a clarification to the news.”

Screengrab from X

The Andhra Pradesh Government Fact check unit also claimed that  the news was fake. In an X post, dated March 5, 2024, it said, “The news published in Andhra Jyothy daily on 03–03–2024 with the title ‘Thakattulo Sachiwalayam’ is completely untrue. HDFC Bank itself denied this story. The news in the Andhra Jyothy daily on March 3 saying that the state government has taken a loan of ₹370 crore from HDFC Bank by pledging the secretariat buildings is completely untrue. It tends to mislead people. We condemn this,” said a spokesperson of HDFC Bank on Monday. (translated from Telugu via Google)”

Notably, Andhra Jyothy has not pulled down the story from their website despite denials from concerned parties. We reached out to Venkat Krishna, senior editor with ABN, who said that they stand by their story.

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Conclusion

While the APCRDA and HDFC bank have refuted the news report by Andhra Jyothy alleging that the Andhra Pradesh government has mortgaged secretariat building to HDFC Bank, the outlet said that they standby their story.

Sources
Report by The New Indian Express, Dated March 4, 2024
Report by Telugu Global, Dated March 4, 2024
X Post By APCRDA, Dated March 3, 2024
X Post By @HDFCBank_Cares, Dated March 6, 2024
Report By Andhra Jyothy, Dated March 3, 2024


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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