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TDP workers protest against Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest, several detained

TDP workers held protests against the arrest of its chief and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the Rs 371-crore Andhra Pradesh skill development scam.

Amid the protests, several TDP leaders were either detained or put under house arrest. The party had earlier given a bandh call across the state to protest against N Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest.

In Sri Sathya Sai District, police put former minister Paritala Sunitha under house arrest in Venkatapuram village. However, she escaped police detention and took out a rally towards Ramagiri in solidarity with N Chandrababu Naidu.

A party MLC, Kancharla Srikanth, laid down on the road as a mark of protest in Chittoor district. Amid the protest, several Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses have been grounded in depots since morning.

In Tadipatri in Anantapur district, some TDP leaders were taken into custody for organising a protest against N Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest.

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Why was Chandrababu Naidu arrested?

On September 9, N Chandrababu Naidu was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for his alleged role in the Rs 371-crore Andhra Pradesh skill development scam. An Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court sent the TDP supremo to 14-day judicial remand.

The case is related to the formation of the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC), which, in 2014, aimed at training unemployed youth and fostering ties with educational institutes near industries like Kia in Anantapur district.

Investigators alleged that N Chandrababu Naidu acted as the “principal conspirator” and carried out a scam under the guise of the APSSDC amounting to Rs 371 crore.

When N Chandrababu Naidu was the chief minister from 2014 to 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government partnered with German engineering giant Siemens for the APSSDC project. Siemens was tasked with establishing six centres of excellence.

However, the state government released Rs 371 crore for the project even though Siemens had not invested any funds into the project.

The former chief minister was 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 also invoked the Prevention of Corruption Act against him.

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