Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was arrested in a corruption case on Saturday morning by the state’s Crime Investigation Department, PTI reported.
The Telugu Desam Party leader has been arrested in connection to the alleged Andhra Pradesh skill development corporation scam in which around Rs 550 crore of government funds were transferred to shell companies, according to The Hindu.
Some media reports put the figure of the alleged scam at over Rs 370 crore.
“The principal conspirator behind the entire scheme and who orchestrated the transfer of the public funds from government to private entities via shell companies has taken place with the act of leadership of Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu,” Andhra Pradesh CID Chief N Sanjay said.
Besides sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Naidu has been charged under Indian Penal Code sections dealing with the offences of criminal conspiracy, public servant disobeying law, public servant framing an incorrect document, cheating, forgery, causing disappearance of evidence and offering bribe to a public servant.
Naidu was arrested early on Saturday following hours of drama. Around 3 am, a team of the Crime Investigation Department arrived at RK Function Hall in Hyderabad where Naidu was staying in a caravan for an event, the Hindustan Times reported.
Naidu’s supporters resisted the CID officials and his guards also said that he could not be arrested before 5.30 am. Eventually, the former chief minister was taken into custody around 6 am.
Naidu claimed that he had done nothing wrong and that he has been arrested without any proof, according to The Indian Express.
“For the past 45 years, I have selflessly served Telugu people,” the former chief minister wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I am prepared to sacrifice my life to safeguard the interests of Telugu people. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my Andhra Pradesh and my motherland.”
Following Naidu’s arrest, the Andhra Pradesh Police have issued a high alert across the state. Several TDP leaders have also been placed under house arrest.