‘Money trail very clear’: Andhra CID on Chandrababu Naidu's arrest | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Money trail very clear’: Andhra CID on Chandrababu Naidu's arrest

Sep 14, 2023 11:32 AM IST

The TDP chief was sent to judicial custody on Sept 9 for 14 days by the ACB court in Vijayawada in connection with an alleged skill development corporation scam

Amid the protests over the arrest of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, the Additional DG of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Sanjay on Wednesday said that the money trail is “very clear” in the multi-crore skill development scam.

TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu
TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu

According to the Andhra CID, it is a “very clear case of government funds transferred and the project of purpose never happened.”

"In this case, a government corporation was formed and it was exclusively formed for this purpose of skill development and the proposal was moved by some private individuals...The money trail is very clearly seen," the additional DG of CID told news agency ANI.

He added, “You see the role of the ED also in this when they moved in and arrested a few people. So this is a very clear case of government money being transferred and the project itself never happened... How the money went into shell companies and all, is again part of the investigation. So further investigation will reveal the exact end-to-end tie-ups.”

The TDP chief was sent to judicial custody on September 9 for 14 days by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada in connection with an alleged skill development corporation scam.

On Wednesday, the Andhra Pradesh high court deferred a plea by Naidu seeking to quash the case filed against him. However, the court ordered that the CID cannot take Naidu’s custody until September 18.

What is the multi-crore skill development scam?

The multi-crore skill development scam case pertains to the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of 3,300 crore during the previous TDP regime in the state.

According to the CID, the preliminary investigation uncovered serious irregularities such as the state government providing an advance of 271 crores before any expenditure by private entities, initiating the project without following the standard tendering process, and the funds intended for the project being funneled into shell companies, including Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens.

The investigation followed notices issued to Arja Srikanth, a former Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer who was the CEO of APSSDC in 2016.

Meanwhile, TDP workers held protests against the arrest of Chandrababu Naidu in several districts of the state including Tirupati and West Godavari. On Wednesday, a group of techies led by the TDP's digital wing also staged a protest in Hyderabad with holding placards that read ‘I am with CBN’.

(With inputs from agencies)

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