According to sources in the YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy administration, N Chandrababu Naidu, the leader of the Telugu Desam Party and a former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, was responsible for a scandal involving the state skill development corporation that cost 371 crore rupees.
Following a dramatic incident, Mr. Naidu was taken into custody early this morning at Nandyal, around 300 miles from Hyderabad. Supporters of the TDP fought with police officers who arrived in Nandyal to arrest Mr. Naidu. He was ultimately detained and taken to Vijayawada.
A senior official of the state CID referred to Mr. Naidu as the “prime accused” in connection with the suspected fraud in his speech to the media. The creation of centres of excellence in Andhra Pradesh is the central issue in this instance, he explained.
“The Andhra Pradesh government released 371 crore, of which a significant portion was diverted and just a minor portion used to build the centres of excellence. The majority of this money was misappropriated by employing phoney invoices and shell corporations.
According to the investigation, Mr. Naidu was the “principal conspirator” in the case, and it was under his “active leadership” that government funds were transferred to private firms through shell companies, the officer claimed.
He is the focus of this investigation since he has exclusive knowledge of the events leading to the issuance of government orders and the MoU, the official continued.
According to sources in the state government, Mr. Naidu “meticulously planned, directed, and executed the scam”.
The Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation, established by the previous chief minister Naidu to give young people job training, is at the crux of the alleged scandal.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the then-TDP administration and Siemens, a major German engineering company. The state skill development organisation was to carry out the project in collaboration with a group that included Siemens, Industry Software India Ltd., and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd. According to the sources, Siemens was charged with creating six centres of excellence.
According to them, this MoU stipulated that the Andhra Pradesh government would contribute 10% of the project’s $3,356 crore cost.
Even though Siemens had not contributed any money to the project, it is claimed that a staggering 371 crore was paid out in five installments over the course of three months.
Show me the location of my name. Without even the most basic proof, how can they arrest me? During the altercation between his followers and police, Mr. Naidu stated.
Later, he wrote in a post on his official X account, “For the past 45 years, I have given Telugu people my sacrificial service. I’m willing to give my life to protect Telugu people’s interests. I will continue to serve the Telugu people, my Andhra Pradesh, and my nation in spite of everything on earth.
The TDP leader pleaded with his supporters to exercise restraint before being removed, saying, “In the end, righteousness wins.”
According to government sources, there are “questions about transparency” because neither the then-principal finance secretary nor the then-chief secretary signed any project-related documents.
They also mentioned that there may have been attempts to destroy important documents containing scandal-related evidence.
According to the sources, Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens were among the shell companies that received a total of 241 crore, without any discernible benefits for skill development.
They also mentioned an Enforcement Directorate investigation into the matter. The inquiry by the ED, according to the sources, determined that the previous Andhra Pradesh government broke rules by issuing 371 crore without going through a tendering procedure. According to state government officials, the central agency made a number of arrests in the case.
The probe, according to TDP spokesman Kutumba Rao, purportedly revealed possible GST violations by Design Tech Systems, which had signed a contract with the state skill development corporation. The ED looked into this and discovered that money was being diverted to shell firms, he claimed. According to Mr. Rao, “They are incorrectly attempting to link Chandrababu Naidu to those violations.”