Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody by a Vijayawada court in connection with a multi-crore corruption case.
He arrived at the Central Prison in Rajamahendravaram in the early hours of Monday, September 11, following a nearly 200-km journey from Vijayawada.
Naidu's arrest, which took place on Saturday, September 9, is a crucial development in an ongoing investigation that implicates him and the TDP in alleged fund misappropriation.
A police official stated that the investigation found evidence linking Naidu and the TDP to the misappropriation of funds. He said, "The principal conspirator behind the entire scheme, who orchestrated the transfer of public funds from the government to private entities via shell companies, is Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu himself."
Naidu's intricate knowledge of the transactions leading to the issuance of government orders and MoUs over time makes him a central figure in the investigation, the official added.
The corruption case revolves around the establishment of the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) in 2014, aimed at training unemployed youth and fostering ties with educational institutes near industries such as Kia in the Anantapur district.
Allegedly, during his tenure as Chief Minister, Naidu carried out the scam under the guise of the APSSDC, despite partnering with the German engineering giant Siemens for the project.
Surprisingly, the state government released Rs 371 crore for the project, even though Siemens had not invested any funds.
Naidu faces charges under various IPC sections, including criminal conspiracy, cheating, and forgery. Additionally, the Andhra Pradesh CID has invoked the Prevention of Corruption Act against him.
In response to Naidu's arrest and what they see as vengeful politics, the Telugu Desam Party has called for a statewide bandh on Monday. TDP AP President K Atchannaidu has urged party members, the public, and civil society to participate in the agitation.
"The Telugu Desam Party has called for a statewide bandh on Monday, September 11, in protest against the illegal arrest of Nara Chandrababu Naidu, atrocities against party cadre, and vengeful politics," read a press release from the party.
చంద్రబాబు గారి అక్రమ అరెస్ట్ కు నిరసనగా, మైదుకూరులో ధర్నా చేస్తున్న టిడిపి ఇన్ ఛార్జ్ పుట్టా సుధాకర్ యాదవ్ ని చుట్టు ముట్టిన పోలీసులు..#APBandhForCBN#PeopleWithNaidu#FalseCasesAgainstNaidu pic.twitter.com/SxPTm3V4n5— Telugu Desam Party (@JaiTDP) September 11, 2023
In light of security concerns, the court has granted Naidu special amenities during his two-week stay in jail, including home-cooked food, medication, and a dedicated room. The court has directed the superintendent of Rajamahendravaram central prison to ensure Naidu's separate accommodation.
Naidu is a Z-plus category security protectee, making his safety a top priority during his incarceration.