Chandrababu Naidu Arrested? In multi-crore skill development scam

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Chandrababu Naidu Arrested: In an interview with the media, a top officer at the Criminal Investigation Department in Andhra Pradesh pointed out that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was “prime suspect” on charges of fraud. To protect the interests of Telugu people, Naidu says he is willing to sacrifice his life for this cause and no one can stop him.

Crime Investigation Department (CID)

Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) on September 9 said that former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was the principal conspirator and “accused no 1” in the ₹371 crore skill development scam. The agency further said that the government order was issued under Mr. Naidu’s instructions, intending to cause wrongful loss to the public exchequer and gain to private individuals.

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The Criminal Investigation Department arrested the former prime minister at RK Function Hall in Gnannapuram, Nandyala around 6.15 a.m. for his role in the scam. In its remand report, “The CID has said that according to the investigation so far, the total amount spent by private entities on six skill development clusters is sourced exclusively from funds advanced by the Government of AP and AP Skill Development Center, totalling ₹371 crore.”

After high drama, Mr. Naidu was taken into custody early this morning in Nandyal a little over 300 miles from Hyderabad. TDP supporters clashed with police personnel who reached Nandyal to take Mr Naidu in custody. Eventually, he was taken into custody and transferred to Vijayawada.

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Chandrababu Naidu Arrested: Main suspect Mr. Naidu and the Telugu Desam Party

Chandrababu Naidu Arrested

The Criminal Investigation Department claimed that the main suspect Mr. Naidu and the Telugu Desam Party had been identified as beneficiaries of those embezzled funds. It further stated that Mr Naidu was considered to be the main conspirator in the scheme, which facilitated the transfer of public funds to private entities through shell companies, resulting in a loss to the public exchequer and private gains. The ultimate exploitation of stolen money, including cash assets held by individuals such as Vikas Khanvilkar.

Government funds diverted

“The Government of Andhra Pradesh has disbursed 371 cr, a significant part of which was diverted and less than 1 % used to build the centres of excellence.” Using phony invoices, the bulk of these funds have been misconcealed through offshore companies.

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The investigation revealed that Mr Naidu was the “principal conspirator” in the matter and the transfer of government funds to private entities through shell companies happened under his “active leadership”, the officer said.

“He is aware of transactions leading to the issuing of public orders as well as a Memorandum of Understanding, which makes him directly responsible for this investigation,” he said.

It was alleged that, according to sources in the State Government, Mr. Naidu “meticulously planned and carried out an elaborate fraud”.

Chandrababu Naidu Arrested: Skill Development Corporation

The Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation, set up by former Chief Minister Nandiah to train young people for employment, is also a key element of the alleged fraud.

The then TDP government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German engineering giant Siemens. Siemens has been entrusted with setting up six centres of excellence by the State skills development agency, which is working in partnership with a consortium composed of Industry Software India Ltd and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd.

Chandrababu Naidu

According to them, this MoU provided that the Andhra Pradesh government would contribute 10 per cent of project expenditure amounting to 3,356 million.

It is claimed that, even though Siemens has not committed any funds to this project, a massive amount of EUR 371 million was paid in five instalments within three months.

Mr Naidu said

“I want to know where my name is.” “How come they haven’t got any basic evidence to arrest me?” During the confrontation with his supporters and law enforcement officers, Mr Naidu said.

“I have served the Telugu people with all my heart for 45 years,” he wrote in his official X handle. In order to preserve the interests of Telugus, I’m willing to give my life. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my #AndhraPradesh and my motherland.”

The TDP chief called on his supporters to act with restraint before they took him away and said, “In the end justice prevails.”

The government sources said that neither the then Principal Secretary of Finance nor the former Chief Secretary signed any files relating to the project and raised concerns about transparency.

Furthermore, the report claims that there has been an attempt to destroy vital documentary evidence related to the scandal.

Shell companies

The sources claimed that, in the absence of any tangible returns from skill development, a total amount of 241 million was allegedly transferred to different shell companies like Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners and ETA Greens.

They also pointed out that the case was subject to an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate. The investigation by the Enforcement Directorate found that in releasing 371 million without a competitive bidding process, the State of Andhra Pradesh breached established norms. Several arrests have been made by the Central Office in this case, according to government sources.

According to TDP spokesperson Kutumba Rao, the investigation has resulted in allegations of breach of Goods and Service Tax by Design Technology Systems who have signed a contract with the State Skill Development Corporation. This is what the Enforcement Division has been investigating, he says, and they’ve found that funds are being diverted to shell companies. Mr. Rao added, “They are wrongly accusing Chandra Naidu of these offences.”

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