The former Chief Minister of the Southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India received bail this week. Officials arrested former CM Chandrababu Naidu in September. He was allegedly involved in the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam. He was granted regular bail in the scam case. According to the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling, Naidu is granted interim bail until November 28 due to medical reasons.
Since his arrest, Chandrababu Naidu has been detained at the Rajahmundry Central Prison. Naidu was arrested in September for a multi-crore skill development corporation scam. The Central Investigation Division (CID) investigated the scam, and the charges were filed at the Special Court handling ACB cases in Vijayawada.
The Skill Development Scam
The state of Andhra Pradesh launched a skill development program in 2016. It focused on empowering the state’s youth by providing them with the necessary skills to live steady and fulfilled lives. Unfortunately, the program runners did not follow proper tendering procedures.
The First Information Report (FIR) was filed in December 2021. The FIR originally stated 25 people but did not state Naidu by name. Further investigation revealed Naidu and his involvement.
The scam is worth over RS 3000 crore and took place during the reign of the former political party, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Naidu was also the head of the party.
The CID began the investigation by probing into Arja Srikant. Srikant was a former Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer. He was also the CEO of the skill development program in 2016. The officials investigated Srikant based on depositions provided by three Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.
Naidu’s administration had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a project worth over ₹3,300 crore. The memorandum was signed alongside companies such as Siemens Industry Software India Ltd and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd. The companies were responsible for setting up six skill development centres.
The state government would contribute 10% of the total funds, while companies like Siemens and Design Tech would provide the rest as grant-in-aid.
The CID alleges that the government did not follow proper tendering protocols and that the cabinet did not clear the project.
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