Arrest of Chandrababu Naidu; mass protest in Andhra Pradesh
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu was sentenced to 14 days in jail following his arrest on Saturday, 9 September. The former CM was arrested in the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Scheme fraud case. Naidu's investigation centres on a scheme in which government funds meant for a skills development project were allegedly diverted to various shell companies through fraudulent invoices that did not match the delivery of services. A special court in Vijayawada, which hears cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), ordered custody of the CM to ACB after hearing competing claims from the state's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu is placed at the Rajahmundry Central Prison with facilities such as home-cooked meals, separate rooms and security.
Challenging the arrest warrant filed against him by the CID, Naidu claimed in the Vijayawada court that he was wrongly accused in the case. He also claimed that it was a clear violation of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Section 17A deals with the need for preliminary sanctions to investigate the actions of a public servant in the performance of his official duties. Naidu's statement argued that since he is the Chief Minister, the State Governor would be the punishing authority in his case.
Several TDP (Telugu Desam Party) leaders held a protest in Andhra Pradesh on Monday protesting the arrest of its leader and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in a corruption case. Amidst the protests, several TDP leaders were arrested or placed under house arrest. The party had earlier made calls across the state to protest the arrest of N Chandrababu Naidu.
In Sri Sathya Sai district, police placed former Minister Paritala Sunitha under house arrest in Venkatapuram village. However, she escaped from police custody and staged a demonstration in Ramagiri in solidarity with N Chandrababu Naidu. Party MLC Kancharla Srikanth took to the road in Chittoor district as a sign of protest. As part of the protest, several Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses were stopped at depots since morning.
A special group of TDP leaders met the honourable Governor of Andhra Pradesh S Abdul Naseer to complain about the false arrest of their leader. They claimed that not a single line in the report proved that the former CM was responsible for any crime, it was a planned conspiracy by the government with the help of its machinery to defame Chandrababu Naidu