Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu was arrested by the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) early on Saturday (August 9) morning. The arrest came after Naidu was recently listed as Accused No 1 in an alleged skill development scam, The South First reported.
TDP leaders Kaluva Srinivasulu, Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, A.V. Subba Reddy, B.C. Janardhan Reddy and Akhila Priya were also arrested, according to The South First.
The charges against Naidu and others pertain to criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, breach of trust, destruction of evidence, and abetment.
Naidu has alleged that he was arrested without any proper information or evidence.
“I did not commit any malpractice or corruption. CID arrested me without any proper information and I asked them to show the evidence but they refused to show and attached my name to the FIR without my role,” ANI quoted Naidu as saying before he was taken into custody.
“For the past 45 years, I have selflessly served Telugu people. I am prepared to sacrifice my life to safeguard the interests of Telugu people. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my #AndhraPradesh and my motherland,” Naidu tweeted.
Naidu was arrested while he was camped at Nandyal for the night, where he had addressed a public meeting and accused chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government of corruption. According to The News Minute, Naidu had been served an arrest notice while campaigning in Nandyal.
“According to the YSRCP government, the multi-crore Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation scam panned out during the TDP regime where the government hastily paid 371 crore in five tranches over the course of just three months,” the portal said about the case. The Enforcement Directorate too has launched a probe into the case.
According to The South First, Naidu had predicted recently that the police would arrest him “in a day or two”. “Today or tomorrow they could arrest me. They may even attack me,” Naidu had said, referring to the YSRCP government.
The TDP has called for statewide protests against Naidu’s arrest.
Naidu has been arrested under relevant IPC sections, including Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 465 (forgery).
The Andhra Pradesh CID has also invoked the Prevention of Corruption Act against him.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate had arrested former Siemens Industrial Software India’s managing director Bose and Khanvelkar, managing director of Design Tech systems in March for alleged money laundering, diversion and misutilisation of funds, which is linked to the skill development case.